The year in pictures

By Bruce Stambaugh

I had the grandiose idea to post photos I had taken in 2011 in four categories, people, floral and fauna, scenery and weather. As I sorted through the nearly 4,000 imagines I had taken this year, I quickly realized that the task was too daunting, especially given the limited time I had.

Instead, I chose to select a picture for each month of the year. Most were taken near my home near Millersburg in Ohio’s Amish country. Others were shot while on vacation or out of our area. What I assembled turned out to be an eclectic collection that ends up serving both as a through the lens summary of my year and a representation of each of the original categories.

Here, then, are my pictures of the month for 2011.


American Goldfinch by Bruce Stambaugh
Bird lover that I am, I enjoy feeding and photographing birds. This female American Goldfinch posed nicely for me on a porch post while waiting for an opening at a feeder.


Eastern Bluebird by Bruce Stambaugh
Though this shot is of another bird, this chilly female Eastern Bluebird served as model for both the birds that I love and the weather that I watch. With the stinging, horizontally blowing snow on a late February day, she sought food and shelter and found both in the hollowed out log peanut feeder that hung on our back porch.


Espresso art shot by Bruce Stambaugh
I chose this shot as a symbol of how the year unfolded. Taken outside a café in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, I couldn’t help notice the irony of the dark gray shadow of the white window lettering on the back of the chair inside the shop. The rest of the picture is busy and blurred with multiple reflections, much like my 2011 life experience.


Family photo by Bruce Stambaugh
Inscribed on my grandfather Stambaugh’s tombstone is the simple yet profound phrase, “He liked people.” Well, so do I, especially family. Whenever family gathers, like my daughter’s family did at Easter with us, we try to get a family photo. But with young children, getting a perfect picture is a challenge. I thought this imperfect one to perfectly represent that point. The middle child, the long-haired lefty on the left, distains set up shots about as much as me. His older brother enjoyed Davis’ tantrum while the boys’ father tried to settle number two. The granddaughter ignored the silliness and played with a toy, while our photogenic daughter stayed focused on the camera as best she could.


Two birds by Bruce Stambaugh
Yep, another bird picture. It wasn’t the subject matter as much as the color that made this the May pick. Plus, it’s a rarity to have a male Baltimore Oriole and a male Red-headed Woodpecker on a suet feeder at exactly the same time. Fact is, neither seemed to mind the other since they continued to feed for several minutes.


Floral and fauna by Bruce Stambaugh
June was a beautiful month, save the occasional severe weather. After a long, chilly, wet spring, June’s warmth and sun brought out beautiful flowers and insects, like these Sweet Williams and this Tiger Swallow-tail butterfly.


Shelf cloud by Bruce Stambaugh
I felt this picture embodied the year we had in northeast Ohio as much as any photo I shot. Precipitation records were broken throughout the state in 2011. Severe thunderstorms, like this one with its foretelling shelf cloud, pelted northern Ohio all spring and well into the fall. Flooding, damaging tornadoes and microbursts, hail and blinding snowstorms were all a part of the year’s complex weather.


Lush harvest by Bruce Stambaugh
Notorious as a hot, humid and often dry month, August fooled us this year. As lovely as June was, August was even nicer. I thought this shot of my Amish neighbor cutting golden oats between lush alfalfa and emerald field corn best represented the month’s congeniality.


Sept. 11 sunset by Bruce Stambaugh
Like millions of other global citizens, September 11 is a special day for me. Mostly out of the desire for peace, I consider this day personally sacred. I tend to use the day for reflection and prayer. I thought the sunset on the 10th anniversary needed no words of explanation as to why it was September’s choice.


Fall sunrise by Bruce Stambaugh
Every photographer knows when he or she has taken the shot. On a foggy fall morning, I was fortunate enough to capture this shot two miles east of our home. I still smile when I see it.


Benefit auction by Bruce Stambaugh
Our church community is an important ingredient in my life. On the first Saturday in November, Millersburg Mennonite Church held a benefit auction for two couples in our congregation who either have adopted or are in the process of adopting children. Of course, the cost of that process is high. All the items in the auction were donated. Needless to say, the auction was an all-around success.


Christmas Bluebird by Bruce Stambaugh
We began this venture with a bird. I figured we might as well end it that way, too, especially when this male Eastern Bluebird came calling at the sunflower heart feeder and basked in the Christmas Day afternoon sun.

People, floral and fauna, scenery and weather all play important parts in my life. I feel fortunate to be able to regularly photograph shots representing each category. If I just happen to stumble upon some scene, bird, flowers, cloud or person that requires that I shoot a shot, I consider myself a happy and blessed person.

Happy New Year everyone!


Keeping goals practical for 2012

By Bruce Stambaugh

It’s New Year’s resolution time, a media driven folly I deplore. Consequently, I don’t participate in the declaratory hyperbole of over-hype that usually dissolves faster than an ice cube in a frying pan.

Last year, I offered up a friendly alternative to the impractical practice of setting New Year’s resolutions. I posted a personal, grandiose bucket list that I wanted to accomplish in my life. A good friend thought the text too self-centered and exclusive.

I quickly realized my friend was right on. Knowing that resolutions again would be on the mainstream media’s New Year’s menu, I desired something more productive with which to counter publicly and apply personally.

Up side down by Bruce StambaughDuring my seemingly yearlong recovery last year, I had lots of opportunity for meditation and gratitude. At some point, I began including in my morning devotions a simple three part prompt that seemed all too obvious.

Whether I began or ended with the trilogy, I came away with a refreshing daily approach. The self-imposed, practical advice was both a reminder and a method of living that turned my bucket list on its head.

My little daily pep talk is about as simple and modest as I am. I desire to be nice, to be kind and to behave each day.

Given the fact that I will qualify for Medicare later this year, one would think I had that palpable trio already mastered. My friend, along with other contributions from my beloved wife, told me otherwise. I am human after all, and a man to boot.

Think of it as an offshoot of Kermit the Frog. Instead of “it’s not easy being green,” I submit that it’s not easy being Green frog by Bruce Stambaughnice, at least not all of the time. Nor is it always attainable to be kind, a close cousin to “nice.”

I don’t mean to be kind of nice either. I mean be nice. Be kind, and the end result will be that one will behave. Seems pretty logical to me.

I’ll give you that there isn’t much difference between being nice and being kind. I guess I see being nice as easy as holding a door open for someone. Being kind, on the other hand, is a compassionate extension of that precept.

Being kind equates with being generous. The way I see it, anyone can be nice. It takes extra effort to be kind. Kindness involves time, perseverance, patience, observation and action. I can be nice and hold a door for the next person through. I can be kind and anticipate that the person pushing their mother in a wheelchair will need to have the door held for them.
Face painting by Bruce Stambaugh
Putting nice and kind into play in my life forces me to look beyond my own immediate needs, and to watch for spontaneous opportunities to assist others, even in small ways. Other times, being nice and being kind come through planned events where I can make a difference in a positive manner.

By choosing positive, I am ensuring I am behaving. If I am behaving, I am being nice and hopefully kind, too. One begets the other with productive, positive consequences for all involved.

Be nice. Be kind. Behave. Those are constructive objectives I can live by everyday of the New Year. If I don’t, I’m sure my friend or my wife will remind me. I just hope they’ll be nice about it.

The craziness continued in 2011

Funny faces by Bruce Stambaugh
By Bruce Stambaugh

This year proved just as crazy as any other. Nose for news person that I am, I kept track of some of the zanier happenings of 2011 that for whatever reasons didn’t quite make the headlines.

Some of the stories involved weather. Others were human driven. Here is just a sampling of the year’s mayhem.

1 – By early morning, more than 4,000 red-winged blackbirds fell dead out of the sky over the Beebe, Arkansas.
12 – Florida was the only one of the 50 states without measurable snow on the ground.
28 – A woman in Kent, England returned a dog she had adopted from the local rescue kennel because it clashed with her curtains.

21 – Justine Siegal threw batting practice for the Cleveland Indians in Spring Training, becoming the first woman to do so for a Major League baseball team.
23 – Mother Jones magazine reported that since 1979 most income groups in America have barely grown richer, while the income of the top 1 percent has nearly quadrupled.
27 – Frank Buckles, the sole remaining U.S. World War I veteran, died at age 110 at his home in Charles Town, West Virginia.

Amish buggy by Bruce Stambaugh
13 – Police in Ashland, Ohio ticketed the driver of an Amish buggy for drag racing another buggy on the way to church.
13 – The massive 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan was so powerful it moved the country’s northern most islands up to 13 feet east.
25 – A report on global health reported that worldwide 4.6 billion people had cell phones while 4.3 billion people had access to a toilet.

9 – Rick Baird of Charlotte, North Carolina mad a perfect score in the second round of the Virginia State Putt-Putt tournament by acing all 18 holes in Richmond, Virginia.
11 – Scientists in England determined that April 11, 1954 was the most boring day in the 20th century.
24 – MensHealth magazine reported that the average American consumes 125 pounds of sugar annually.
Peach pie by Bruce Stambaugh
17 – Watermelons in China were exploding in the field because farmers there apparently added growth chemicals too late in the seasons.
21 – U.S. Census figures showed that the Hispanic population had surpassed the Amish population in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
26 – The Police Executive Research Forum listed Flint, Michigan as the most dangerous city in the United States.

4 – Bobby Bradley, nine, became the youngest trained pilot to fly a hot air balloon solo when he launched at Albuquerque, New Mexico and landed a half hour later.
17 – A deer fawn apparently dropped by an eagle onto a high voltage line caused a power outage in East Missoula, Montana.
20 – Maria Gomes Valentim, purported to the world’s oldest person, died in Sao Paulo, Brazil just two weeks shy of her 115th birthday.

26 – Sue Fondrie of Oshkosh, Wisconsin won the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest for bad writing with a 26-word opening sentence.
26 – A 200-year-old bottle of French wine sold for $120,000, setting a new Guinness World Record for the most valuable bottle of white wine ever sold.
28 – The U.S. Census showed that rural population totaled just 16 percent of the national population, the lowest rate in history.
Young soccer players by Bruce Stambaugh
2 – In trying to get to the Mercury Insurance Open in Carlsbad, California, pro tennis player Bojana Jovanovski flew from Washington, D.C. to Carlsbad, New Mexico.
13 – Real Madrid, a pro soccer team, signed a seven-year old boy from Argentina, to play soccer.
18 – The small Pacific resort island of Aitutaki, part of the Cook Islands, had its first bank robbery, with the thieves making off with $166,000.

9 – The Highway Loss Data Institute reported that the number one stolen car in the U.S. was the Cadillac Escalade, while the least stolen was the Mini Cooper Clubman.
24 – A total of 18,000 people attended the annual RoadKill Cook-off and Autumn Harvest Festival held in Marlinton, West Virginia.
30 – Brianna Amat, a senior at Pinckney Community High School in Michigan, was crowned homecoming queen at half time of the football game, and awhile later kicked the winning field goal as a member of the football team.

16 – Fauja Singh, 100, completed the Toronto Marathon, becoming the oldest person on record to finish a run of 23.6 miles.
23 – In the first ever-democratic election in Tunisia, where the Arab Spring began, voter turnout was 90 percent.
28 – A 60-year old New Mexico woman went straight to jail after allegedly stabbing her boyfriend over a game of Monopoly.

Buck by Bruce Stambaugh
1 – Inside Insurance Magazine rated West Virginia as the state were drivers are most likely to hit a deer.
30 – An 80-year old Chicago man donated an old wool suite to Goodwill, only to remember too late that he had hid his life savings of $13,000 in one of the pockets.

4 – A chain-reaction crash on an expressway in Japan resulted in 14 luxury automobiles, including eight Ferraris, three Mercedes-Benzes and a Lamborghini, being destroyed or heavily damaged.
7 – Pantone Inc. announced that Tangerine Tango would be the 2012 color of the year.

Let’s hope 2012 is a better year for you, me, and for all who grace God’s good earth, even if we have to wear some shade of orange.
Tangerines by Bruce Stambaugh

A family tradition comes to an end

Jan and Larry Coldwell by Bruce Stambaugh
Jan and Larry Coldwell of rural Killbuck, Ohio.

By Bruce Stambaugh

Larry and Jan Coldwell, of rural Killbuck, Ohio, have been selling Christmas trees for 24 years. Area families were sad to learn that this year was their last.

“This decision has been harder than when I retired from teaching,” Larry said. Coldwell taught at Killbuck Elementary School until 2006.

“Growing Christmas trees was a hobby that got out of control,” Larry said. “We started selling a few, word spread, and it became an annual business.”

Larry and Jan Coldwell by Bruce Stambaugh
Larry and Jan Coldwell relax in their home near Killbuck, Ohio.
Both Larry and Jan said it would be difficult to end the business because of the relationships that have developed over the years. They have never advertised their trees for sale, yet were as busy as they wanted to be since 1987.

Larry said he began planting Scotch and White pine trees for wildlife and conservation purposes in 1981. When someone asked if those trees were for sale in December 1987, the Christmas tree selling began.

Since then, scores of people returned year after year to pick out their own tree. Of course, Larry accompanied them up the steep hillsides to help cut the tree.

“I kept a written record of who bought what species every year,” Larry said. Over time, he realized he had to expand his offerings as customers’ tastes changed.

“People were looking for more than just pines,” Larry said. With the help of his family, Larry planted several varieties of conifers, including 12 different kinds of fir.

Larry said the first two weeks of December were always the busiest for selling trees. People would even come tag their trees ahead of time in order to pick just the right tree, he explained.

“If they came the third week in December,” Larry said, “color was more important than shape, fragrance, density or needle texture.”

Friendly folks that they are, Larry and Jan both said that they would miss the annual interaction with their customers.

“I got to be a pretty good photographer,” Larry said. “People wanted a family picture with the tree they chose.” He said he recently took a family picture of four generations who had cut Christmas trees. The youngest in the photo was a toddler.

As their three children grew and left home, all the year-round work of maintaining and preparing the trees for sale at Christmas simply became too much for the couple.

Coldwells by Bruce Stambaugh
After 24 years, Larry and Jan Coldwell decided to discontinue selling Christmas trees from their tree farm.
“It’s a very labor intensive enterprise,” Larry said. “Growing trees on steep hillsides eliminated the possibility of mechanical farming.”

During the growing season, Larry fertilized, sprayed and trimmed the trees, plus he mowed between the rows. Jan pitched in with hours of weed eating.

Larry credits his late father, Loren, for his avid interest in conservation.

“Dad loved the out-of-doors,” Larry said.

Over the years, the Coldwells have received letters, cards of thanks along with pictures of customers’ trees. Some trees were even cut when no one was home, but they never had trouble with people stealing trees.

“We would find money in our mailbox, between the doors and some even brought money to school to pay for trees they had cut while we were away,” Larry said.

“It’s not the money that we will miss,” Larry said. “It’s the people.”

Larry will continue to operate his certified 113-acre tree farm and be an active board member of the Killbuck Valley Landowners Association. Jan is a nurse at Walnut Hills Nursing Home in Walnut Creek, Ohio.

Christmas is the evergreen holiday

Christmas tree cutting by Bruce Stambaugh
My wife, Neva, headed out in search of the perfect Christmas tree.

By Bruce Stambaugh

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a Christmas tree.

I realize an evergreen wasn’t part of the original Nativity setting. Nevertheless, having a decorated tree is a must for our family Christmas.

By tree, I mean a real, live evergreen. Nothing less will do. An artificial tree is beyond the pale of consideration.

We are fortunate to live where we have easy access to purchasing trees right from a tree farm. In fact, we most often select and cut our own.

Fortunately, my good wife has an equal inherent affection for acquiring, decorating and displaying Christmas trees. Each of our families took special efforts to secure just the right tree. Our fathers were instrumental in establishing that tradition.

Tree ornaments by Bruce StambaughMy father often piled his five children into the car on a holiday expedition to choose the perfect tree. Perhaps Dad thought if we helped select the tree and drag it back to the car, the fussing about the tree’s quality was greatly diminished if a bare spot or crooked trunk were discovered once we got it up.

The tree had to be proportionate to the space it would occupy, which was usually in the living room. It also had to be either fresh cut or a balled tree that could be planted after the holidays had concluded.

My wife and I repeated the holiday tree trek tradition with our own children. No tree was chosen without consensus. Certain anticipation, exuberance and satisfaction filled the collective process.

Since our home’s property is already sufficiently populated with evergreens and deciduous trees, we generally cut our tree. That’s what my wife and I did again this year.

Rolling hills by Bruce StambaughOn a sunny Saturday morning earlier this month, we meandered along the scenic drive across rolling hills and through pastoral valleys south into the next county. At the Christmas tree farm, high on an open, breezy ridge, where Native Americans once hunted and traversed through old growth forests, our search didn’t take long. We found the Frazier fir we wanted within minutes.

Neva held the beauty while I made quick order of the trunk with my trusty tree saw. Green person that I am, the tree gets recycled as temporary bird shelter near the feeders once the holidays are concluded.

Christmas tree by Bruce StambaughIt’s a joy to inhale the marvelous fragrance of the conifer as we set it up in front of the living room windows. The vibrant needles, deep green on top, blue green beneath, are supple and showy. The pleasing symmetry and the piney smell are additional benefits to having a live tree.

Decorating the tree is also family tradition for both my wife and I, though the process varies from year to year. We tend to trim the evergreen modestly, out of reverence for its natural beauty. No garland or tinsel can be found on our tree.

The strings of mini-white lights, symbolizing the stars in that Bethlehem night sky, are first to grace the tree. Colorful ornaments of various sizes and shapes are aesthetically hung, dangling on the tender branches. An unassuming cloth angel, older than our marriage and gifted to my wife by a student, traditionally tops the tree.

It is only fitting that we have a live Christmas tree. Like the timeless Yuletide story itself, the evergreen adds a vernal blessing to an already blessed season.
Nativity by Bruce Stambaugh

Candlelight church walk success continues

Advent candles by Bruce Stambaugh
The Advent candles at Millersburg Mennonite Church.

By Bruce Stambaugh

Try as it might, the chilly, snowy night couldn’t dampen either the inviting luminaries or the spirits of those who participated in the second annual Candlelight Church Walk held in Millersburg, Ohio on Dec. 9.

By all accounts, the evening of touring five Millersburg churches went well, according to Kate Findley, who coordinated the event. She said with entertainment and refreshments provided, and genuine good cheer among the participants it was another successful evening.

“Despite the weather, we had a very nice evening,” Findley said. “Attendance was up from last year, and we were really pleased with the number of people from out of town who came.”

Sharing details by Bruce Stambaugh
Sharon Burgett shared details about Millersburg Christian Church with Jsaon and Melissa Raber of Millersburg.
Bill and Nancy McMann of Indianapolis, Ind. were typical of those who came from a distance. They said they came specifically for the church tour and to shop.

“We stayed at the Hotel Millersburg in October,” Nancy McMann said, “and saw a pamphlet about the church walk.”

Bill McMann said he and his wife visit Holmes County once or twice a year.

“We enjoy the people and the history here,” he explained.

Local residents, like Jason and Melissa Raber of Millersburg, concurred.

“We love Millersburg,” Melissa Raber said. “We wanted to visit some of the churches that we haven’t been in.”

Viewing the tree by Bruce Stambaugh
Julie Brewer and Pam Bores, both of Glenmont, Ohio enjoyed the tree at Faith Lutheran Church.

That seemed to the sentiment of many who attended for the first time. “We missed it last year” was heard time and again. Judging by their enthusiasm and smiles, those who attended weren’t disappointed.

Luminaries that lined the sidewalks at each of the five churches, each decorated for Christmas according to their particular church tradition, greeted tour-goers. Inside, visitors could view the church sanctuary, obtain information about the history of each church, and enjoy refreshments. Musicians and singers performed for appreciative visitors throughout the two-hour event.

Greeting by Bruce Stambaugh
Dave Findley greeted Pam Leach and Becky Chenevey, both of Wooster, Ohio at First Presbyterian Chruch.

Visitors were free to tour the quintet of churches in any order they wanted and at their own leisure. Millersburg churches open for the walk included Faith Lutheran, First Presbyterian, Millersburg Christian, Millersburg Mennonite and St. Peter Catholic Parish.

The tour concluded at Faith Lutheran with a concert of Christmas selections by the Walsh University Chamber Choir from North Canton. The 40-member choir attracted a standing room only crowd at the hour-long performance.

Director Dr. Britt Cooper said the troop performs one concert outside the Stark County area each year, and that they like to sing in the home community of one of the choir members. In this case, the member was Jenna Baker, who attends First Presbyterian, where her father, Jed Baker, is choir director.

Pianist by Bruce Stambaugh
Pianist Brooke Hershberger entertained particpants of the candlelight walk at Millersburg Mennonite Church.

Cooper taped Jenna Baker to sing a soprano solo in the performance of True Light, one of several sacred songs sung. The packed congregation rose spontaneously during the singing of Handel’s Hallelujah chorus from Messiah.

Cooper had the audience participate in the singing of several verses of traditional Christmas carols. Cooper said the chorus sang in an unfamiliar formation. Due to the limited space, the group sang in the round, standing along the walls and in front of the pulpit area of the church.

At the concert’s conclusion, the choir received a standing ovation. The crowd filed out with spirits warmed by the inspirational music, the tour and the inviting hospitality that again highlighted the Millersburg Candlelight Church Walk.

Findley said she was overwhelmed with the choir’s performance.

“After this performance, we’re not sure what we’ll do for an encore next year,” she said.

Walsh Chamber Choir by Bruce Stambaugh
A concert by the Walsh University Chamber Choir concluded the candlelight church walk.

Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive

Christmas by Bruce Stambaugh
By Bruce Stambaugh

In the blink of an eye, Thanksgiving has come and gone. So too have Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Christmas and New Year’s Day soon will be upon us.

It’s not like the holidays are magically appearing. To be sure, we already have been overexposed to a much too commercialized Christmas through every form of media. The Christmas creep, as some call it, began in early fall.

Indeed, Christmastime is the gift-giving season. But it appears that buying and spending on everything from Chia pets to Cadillacs is the way to celebrate, if we simply gauge the season by the advertisers.

Christmas gift by Bruce StambaughChristmas is so much more than that. It is the time of thinking of others, and remembering them by giving gifts. That is the universally portrayed holiday procedure. The gift, however, doesn’t have to be opulent or pricy, just appropriate for the person.

I enjoyed an article our daughter shared that poked fun at the extremism of holiday shopping. Entitled “The Best 5 Toys Ever,” the humorous story listed the season’s best toys for children. Instead of the latest electronic game or fancy dollhouse, the author suggested sticks, boxes, string, cardboard tubes and dirt as the top presents for children. Each point was illustrated with a picture of a child having fun with these simple items. To drive home the silliness, a positive and negative remark about each “toy” followed the analysis, just like a review of a real toy.

The sarcastic thrust was that our society often over thinks and certainly over indulges when it comes to giving presents for Christmas. We are lead to believe they come in the form of pretty packages, make noise and create virtual fun.
Sharing by Bruce Stambaugh
Sometimes the most practical item is the most appropriate gift, and hardly costs a thing, other than an investment of time. Take balloons for example.

Our two-year old granddaughter loves balloons. Nana reported that on her last visit to Virginia, Maren’s favorite playtime was spent batting a balloon back and forth. Is there volleyball in her future?

I’m not suggesting you buy nothing for your loved ones this Christmastime. Rather, I’m simply saying that you may not have to break the bank to please them.

Christmas games by Bruce StambaughThe finest gift at Christmas doesn’t have to be the most expensive. It might just be the gift of time. In our hustle, bustle work-a-day world, it’s easy to follow the crowd to the big box store specials. For whatever reason, our society seems to find it unfashionable to spend a little time with one another, just reminiscing, remembering, playing games, and enjoying one another’s company.

Perhaps my reticence toward expensive gift giving is personally tainted by my life’s station. As grandparents, my wife and I are looking to divest ourselves of some of the earthly possessions we once thought precious. We don’t need to add to our already cluttered household hoard.

This Christmas, we will be wrapping our unpretentious presents using boxes and tubes and string. Those necessary items won’t be the gifts themselves. We will try to ignore the barrage of electronic and print suggestions on how to spend our money, and simply embrace our company while we can.

Christmas is just around the corner. I hope you get the opportunity to celebrate its true meaning with those you love. I know the time I spend with my family and friends will be the greatest gift I receive, sticks and string included.
Sled ridding by Bruce Stambaugh

Ready for another stroll? Millersburg’s candlelight church walk set for Dec. 9

Nativity scene by Bruce Stambaugh
Millersburg, Ohio, Christian Church held a live nativity scene at last year's church walk.

By Bruce Stambaugh

The initial Millersburg, Ohio, Candlelight Church Walk last year was so successful the event’s planners decided to make it an annual affair.

The 2011 church walk will be held on Friday, Dec. 9, from 6-8 p.m. in Millersburg, according to Kate Findley, who coordinates the event. Millersburg is located in the center of Holmes County at the intersections of US 62 and SR 83.

“We had so many compliments on it last year,” Findley said. “The participants made the decision for us to hold it again.”

Similar to last year, five Millersburg churches will be featured in the tour. They are Faith Lutheran, First Presbyterian, Millersburg Christian, Millersburg Mennonite, and St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

“People can either walk or drive to the churches,” Findley said. Maps will be available at each church, and participants may begin and end their self-guided tour at any church they choose.

Findley encouraged people of all ages to come to the walk.

“It’s an event for the entire family,” she said.

The five churches, which were chosen for their close proximity, will be open for visitors to tour. Representatives from each participating church will be on hand to explain the history of their church.
Church walk by Bruce Stambaugh
In addition, the churches will be decorated for the holidays and music will be provided during the visitations. Refreshments will be served at each church.

This year the walk will conclude with a special program provided by the Walsh University Chamber Singers at 8:15 p.m. at the Faith Lutheran Church.

The walk is free and open to the public. Last year, several persons from outside the Holmes County area attended along with many county residents.

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