Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Methodist Minister Moves...

...and her husband takes a fence (not offence!).

For the past four years Laura Stern has served as pastor of the Ocracoke Methodist Church. She has served admirably...not only the church, but the entire Ocracoke village. Laura and her husband Andrew, and their three children, Gretchen, Nicholas, and Charlie, have been active members of the community, good friends, and wonderful neighbors. Laura was recently reassigned to a church in Raleigh, and they left the island Monday morning. 

On Saturday afternoon Andrew drove a large moving van down Lawton Lane as we were sitting on our front porch. When he turned onto Hwy 12 we heard a loud crunching noise, and the splintering of wood. Investigation revealed that Andrew had clipped our fence, split the post, broken several palings, and laid an eight foot section onto the ground!

Andrew Takes a Fence

Of course, Andrew was mortified, but we assured him we could repair the fence, and he shouldn't fret about it. When Andrew told Laura she sighed and said, "Thank Goodness it was Philip's fence!" I took that as a compliment. She knew I wouldn't be upset. As Andrew said, it was a good wake-up call about the consequences of maneuvering a large truck...and at least it was just a fence, not a 2014 Mercedes on a street in Raleigh!

On Sunday night about 40 islanders gathered for a bonfire on the beach. It was a good opportunity for us to bid Laura, Andrew and their children farewell, and to wish them success and happiness in their new community.

Andrew & Laura

I am sure we will see the Sterns back on the island periodically. So that will give us ample opportunities to remind Andrew of his less-than-stellar truck driving abilities.

And, in less than a week we will be welcoming Ocracoke's new Methodist minister, Richard Bryant, and his family to Ocracoke. (Richard, if you are reading this, please drive carefully!)

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here:


  1. Anonymous9:34 AM

    If a religious organization is going to rotate/ reassign their clerics then the employer should contract out the moving of the belongings of this cleric. This moving company hired, adds to the economy by creating jobs for the community .There are professional movers and professional truck drivers trained to perform these tasks efficiently, bonded and insured. Just think, if these religious organizations whose history is to rotate members of their ministry--- if the business of organized religion had a negotiated contract with a nationwide company it would be a win win situation for all concerned. Less stressful for the Minister I would think too. PH Your fence is covered by insurance no doubt, and this episode will be discussed with as many chuckles as the time a certain blogger drove into a Hiway 12 ditch. The Hiway is cursed for male drivers. All ye males that get behind a wheel to travel the non information hiway coursing and cursing thru the island BEware Beware.

  2. It made for a very entertaining evening. But, then, I am not the one repairing the fence! Farewell to Laura and her family and thanks for the great "last poetic" sermon!

  3. Anonymous2:36 PM

    Yes thank goodness it was just Philip the blogger's fence!
    Wouldn't want it to get around. :-)

  4. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Philip the blogger? Isn't this reminiscent of how people came by their surnames in olden times? Coincidence that the long-ago Howard of Blackbeard's crew (and possible relative of yours?) might've been called William the Blackguard while here in the 21st century his kin(?) has earned the title Philip the Blogger.


  5. Anonymous5:08 PM

    Philip, you'll be glad to know that we returned the truck the other day without further incident, so the fences (and Mercedes) of Wake County are safe! Thanks again for your understanding, and for hosting the bonfire. We sure miss the folks on Ocracoke, but we'll be back to see you soon.