Conneaut, Ohio, to Newfield, N.Y.

I attended a morning session of the Religious Education Association annual conference. I wanted to hear two presentations on abuse and trauma as it relates to religious education. A significant part of my career working in congregations has been devoted to addressing the after effects of religious abuse and trauma (RAT). I’ve mostly dealt with the effects of misconduct by clergy and staff, and I found it helpful to learn about the wider scope of RAT. The presentations also introduced me to additional books and academic studies that I want to read.

But attending this REA session meant we got a late start. The drive started out dreary, but as soon as we got off Interstate 90 onto Interstate 86, the driving became much more pleasant — few cars on the road, fewer big rigs, the road winding through rolling green hills. We passed into Seneca Nation, and many of the road signs were in two languages.

Road sign in Seneca Nation in two languages

We soon arrived at Paul and Gina’s house in Newfield. They live on the edge of a 12,000 acre state park. As soon as we arrived, Paul, Carol, and I, along with Allagash the dog, went for a walk.

The woods were lovely…

Flowering plant in the woods

When we got back, we set up the tent on their lawn. Then we sat on their deck and ate dinner, and sang until dark.

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