There Is No Such Beauty As Where You Belong   1 comment

Above:  The Reverend Beth Long, Rector of St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia, with Mr. Andrew Lane, also of St. Gregory the Great Church, at the 2012 Georgia Interfaith Power and Light Sixth Annual GIPPY Awards, Atlanta, Georgia, 2012

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

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I had to absent myself from church one recent Sunday morning.  Allergies attached me when I had a dearth of over-the-counter medications.  So, instead of going to church, I drove to a local Dollar General store and purchased what I needed.  I would have been bad company in church that morning.  My absence meant that I was not in the choir to sing an anthem which contained a memorable line:

There is no such beauty as where you belong.

This line, unlike many others I have read, heard, and sung, has remained with me.  And I think I know why.

I arrived in Athens, Georgia, in Fall 2005 to pursue a Ph.D. in history at The University of Georgia.  That dream died during a sad and frustrating saga of personality conflicts, historical disciplinary disagreements, and the perfidious action of one professor (whose name I will not reveal in any print or online source) with a weak ego.  Since then I have had an off-and-on internal debate as to whether I belong in Athens.  My father, who lives in Americus, in the opposite corner of the state, is ailing and my mother is his caregiver.  Should I start over there?  Ought I to live closer to my family?

I have established a personal network in Athens.  Having lived longer in Athens than I have lived anywhere else, I have come to like being rooted.  And I have belonged to and attended the same congregation–St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church–all that time.  It is a wonderful group of people.  There I fit in culturally.  The choir performs wonderful music and has earned a community-wide reputation for excellence.  And, at St. G’s, I am no longer (as I was too often in South Georgia) the resident heretic; there are plenty of people to my left, and I have not changed my mind much since shortly before August 2005.  The parish is also a leader in environmental stewardship through its recycling program and plan to add solar panels soon.  And I participate in the card ministry, mailing get-well cards.  I serve also as a Eucharistic Minister, put stray Prayer Books and hymnals in their proper places, and rearrange chairs (we have chairs, not pews) at the priest’s request from time to time.  And I even tell puns to those who appreciate them.  I have become accustomed to the place.

I belong in Athens and at St. G’s, at least for now.  I am where I belong.  There is no such beauty as where I belong, and I rejoice in the fact that I live in it.  Deo gratias!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 21, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SERAPION OF THMUIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF THOMAS KEN, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF BATH AND WELLS

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POSTSCRIPT

A few weeks ago I donated my 1969-2002 run of the Journals of the South Georgia Conference, The United Methodist Church, to the UGA Main Library.  The fact that I felt comfortable doing that indicated how much my attitude toward that institution of higher learning had changed and have changed.

https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/uga-and-me/

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 18, 2012 COMMON ERA

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“St. Gregory is Going Green”–Athens Banner-Herald, April 6, 2012:

http://onlineathens.com/faith/2012-04-05/st-gregory-going-green

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One response to “There Is No Such Beauty As Where You Belong

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  1. Pingback: There Is No Such Beauty As Where You Belong « SUNDRY THOUGHTS OF KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

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