Peter, Rachel, James: three bloggers in person!
Some years ago -- it was longer ago than I realized until I went to dig up the link; it was way back in 2008! -- I posted A minister and a rabbi walk into a coffee shop, about meeting UCC pastor and blogger James Lumsden of When Love Comes to Town after he moved to the Berkshires. Tonight I met up with James once again and also with his wife Di as well as the two visitors they recently welcomed to town, Peter and Joyce, visiting from Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Peter and I have been corresponding for years. I've read his blog in a few different incarnations, and he's a frequent commenter here at Velveteen Rabbi. Most recently we just barely missed each other in Jerusalem. When I arrived there in March with my family, he and Joyce had just finished a three-month stint with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) of the World Council of Churches. (Here's one of his posts about that work: Being faithful, or trying to be so.)
This evening we five met at one of my favorite places in the neighborhood, a venerable pub called the Old Forge, where we enjoyed a variety of fine beers and some truly terrific buffalo wings as well as delightful and wide-ranging conversation. We talked about travels in the Middle East, of course; also about the life of ministry (from which Joyce recently retired), about my congregation and my family, about food and art, parenthood, films, and more.
I'm honored that Peter and Joyce took time out of their brief visit to the Berkshires to meet me for a pint. And I'm delighted by the small-world quality of my corner of the internet, where people I've known for years as digital presences sometimes become in-person friends, too.