The Listening Path is a blog about a journey into the heart of Indian Country by a minister and his wife on clergy renewal leave for three months. We will start in Taos, New Mexico where Wayne has been working for ten years with two congregations, First Presbyterian of Taos and Ranchos de Taos Presbyterian Church. Both churches are small but one has more of a Spanish feel, the other more English.
Wayne’s first ministry was in Navajoland, in Northern Arizona, where we lived for five years when our three girls were small. He grew up in California but moved to Oregon for graduate school where he earned a Ph.D in history. He and Carol, an Oregonian for five generations, married in Portland before setting out on their ministry journey at San Francisco Theological Seminary. After Navajoland, Wayne was called to Yuma, Arizona and then to Taos.
Carol is a writer and photographer. For many years she wrote a humorous column about family life and the many great characters of Taos. On the Listening Path she will take portraits of people and print those as gifts. When allowed we will also record our listening sessions. We plan to build in writing time on our driving trip through Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Then, we’ll take a ferry to Ketchikan, Alaska followed by a visit to Sitka and Juneau. Back on the mainland we will travel down the Oregon Coast to San Francisco, then over to Arizona for a visit to Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo Indian Country.
Our intention is to somehow find a way to listen to Indians about their experiences with Christian mission but as we’ve already discovered, the stories people want to share are completely their own. We want to remain as open as possible to these stories and just let them unfold.