Tag Archives: volunteers

My report from the Palmyra Pageant

As mentioned yesterday, this year we went to the Palmyra Pageant as a family. It had been several years since I had last been. Previously, the main parking lot was across the street, so you would have to walk right past the protestors. Some of them were quiet, but others were loud and obnoxious. Since the last time we were there the parking arrangements have changed. Now you park on the same side of the street as the Hill Cumorah, so you never have to walk directly by the protestors. I was there on Wednesday, July 17, and it was probably the hottest day of the year. It could have been because it was mid-week, or because of the heat, but there were very few protestors out that night. They were making some noise until the opening prayer, and then I never heard them again.

I live about a two-hour drive from Palmyra, so we got there at around 5 pm. The pageant doesn’t start until after 9 pm, so we had a few hours to go and view the sites. Since there are so many people who visit the area during pageant time, there are no official tours offered at the various historical sites. There are, however, lots of missionaries and volunteers around to explain some things and answer questions.

Other than the heat, it was a beautiful day. The kids particularly enjoyed walking through the Sacred Grove. There was some steam/fog among the trees, so you could see the light coming through in visible beams. it looked just like something you’d see in a movie.

The pageant itself hasn’t changed much in several years. That is both a good and bad thing. I like it because it is comfortable. You know exactly how long it will be, and it is easy to tell the kids to pay attention to a specific part that is coming up. On the other hand, since it hasn’t changed it just didn’t feel as exciting to watch it this time.

Ultimately, we had a great day. My three kids thought it was awesome, and I guess that is what matters most.

I took a bunch of pictures and will post them tomorrow…

Niagara Shorthills Christian Ministries

Last weekend my family went to the sugar bush. We’ve done this every year for a few years now, and it is definitely something we look forward to each spring (even though it isn’t technically spring yet). This year we went to Agapé Valley Sugar Bush which is run by the Niagara Shorthills Christian Ministries. There was no cost associated with the tour (donations were accepted) as they were staffed entirely by volunteers. The main purpose of the property are some day camps they run in the summer.

Niagara Shorthills Christian Ministries is a non-profit charitable organization whose goal is to ministrer the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to children on the property we like to call Agape Valley. NSCM operates a children’s day camp in July and August called Agape Valley Bible Camp.

We used to have a Church welfare farm in our area and members of our ward put in thousands upon thousands of hours of volunteer work into the farm. As President Monson mentioned in the welfare training DVD, no one ever forgets their welfare service opportunities. I fully agree with this, and think that in a way the members in our region have lost something by no longer having the farm. I kind of have “holy envy” for the people at Agapé Valley. They seemed like genuinely nice people, and are doing a good work.