Brigadoon In Lancaster County, Pa

Gene Kelly and Van Johnson played two weary hunters who came upon the mystical village of Brigadoon. As the story goes, the preacher in the town invoked God to protect the townspeople against the changes and the influences of the outside world. His prayers were answered and for one day every 100 years, Brigadoon magically appeared amidst the rolling hills of Scotland.

Waiting for Renewal

Waiting for Renewal

The rolling hills of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania holds its own Brigadoon. On 14.5 acres of land, 190 small white cabins sit empty, alone and boarded up but for one summer week each year. The Central Manor Camp Bible Conference first opened on Thursday evening, September 7, 1892 with 19 tents under the direction of a pastor, Dr. MacDannald. He wanted a place where for one week, “Fundamental truths of the word of God are faithfully proclaimed.” This is an area with the strong influence of Evangelical Christians and Mennonites, so the rules were very strict. No noise after 10:30, women wore dresses, no tobacco and no alcohol.

Mennonite Sisters

Mennonite Sisters

United in Prayer

United in Prayer

Singing is very much a part of each service.

Singing is very much a part of each service.

Deep in Prayer

Deep in Prayer

Reading faith based newspapers.

Reading faith based newspapers.

Over a hundred years later, there is a “tabernacle” seating 1,000 people set in the center of the grounds with these white washed and very sparse cabins surrounding it. These habitats have basic electricity but no running water. There is no wifi and not one lap top or television to be seen. The cost of each cottage can be up to $10,000 and they are either passed down through generations or auctioned off at the end of each year’s revival. Basically, most have just beds, lighting and a fan in them. Curtains are used to partition off areas.There are three bath houses for men and three for women. Each family brings their own unique style to their home away from home…Ruthie raised a foster child who returned to her birth mother at age 13 only to end up dying on the streets of Philadelphia. The exterior of Ruthie’s “home” is a memorial to Heather while her daughter is fighting brain cancer and sits quietly quilting outside the cabin. A mother with 5 children found a pink light to soften the look inside and she created a shabby chic haven. One cabin was “pranked” with colorful postettes adorning the plain white. Flowers, streamers, crosses, bibles and books by Glen Beck can be found outside. There are “porch visits” that go on throughout the day for the purpose of “Christian Fellowship”. Some met here for the first time and are now sitting on their porch as a married couple. Others remember coming when there were only tents and now have their own cabin. RV’s are permitted on the grounds for $40. per night and do have water and electric hook ups.

Ruthie Remembers and Honors her Foster Child.

Ruthie Remembers and Honors her Foster Child.

Creating

Creating

Color Splash

Color Splash

Love Grows During the Week

Love Grows During the Week

Sharing from the Heart

Sharing from the Heart

Pink Lights and Shabby Chic

Pink Lights and Shabby Chic

This year’s small booklet listing the speakers and program related the Statement of Faith as the following:
“We believe that the Bible is the Word of God.”
“God is a Triune God.”
“Jesus Christ is the only savior of men.”
“Man in his natural state is totally depraved. Man is sinfully enslaved in transgression, and without the provision of God’s saving grace through Jesus Christ, is eternally lost.” These tenets have remained the same since the founding by Paster MacDannald. What has changed is the operating budget which is now approximately $74,000.

The day begins at 6:30 with the ringing of the bell. 7:30 is family worship and no recreation may take place during times of worship.
There are speakers each day at 10:00, 2:30 and 7:00 pm. Snacks can be purchased or meals can be taken in the dinning hall with two seatings of 400. The menu basically stays the same from year to year. Saturday is always chili for “dinner” at 11:45 and chicken barbecue for supper at 5:00. There is supervised recreation. Saturday is “Parade Day” and the “Peanut Hunt” in the afternoon. The purpose of the recreation program is to “develop attitudes and behaviors that exemplify the Lord Jesus Christ.” Activities include quoits, street hockey, volleyball and basketball. Crafts are held Monday through Friday at 2:30 – 3:30 each year and crafts for women are at 1:30 pm on the days announced. At 10:30, there is the ringing of the bell, signaling the end of the day and all to be in their cottage. No smoking or alcohol is permitted and no soda is served.

A Parade of Balloons and Smiles

A Parade of Balloons and Smiles


Bathing In Sinks

Bathing In Sinks

Feeding the Multitude

Feeding the Multitude

A Pop of Color

A Pop of Color

For one week each year, there is a continuity of faith and family. Just as in Brigadoon, there is a type of shielding from the influences of the outside world that is embraced by generation after generation. On August 16, 2015, the Central Manor Camp was brought to a close…it saw its moment in the sun and now has returned to its stark waiting stillness.

Sources: “123rd Annual Program of Central Manor Camp and Bible Conference”
“Central Manor Campmeeting Celebrating a Memorable Century 1892 -1992

Chinese New Year 2013

Philadelphia's Chinatown

The Friendship Gate

Woman in Waiting

On His Father's Shoulders

Store Owner Hoping for Good Luck

Lettuce, Red Envelope and Explosions

Preparations

Hoisting Up Hopes

Reflections

Mirror to Scare Away Evil Spirits

Little Buddha

Little One

All Set and Ready to Go

Going for the Riches

Explosions and Movements

Bringing in the New Year

The Crescendo

End of the Party

Firecrackers exploding to scare away evil spirits, lions dancing, the rhythmic beating of drums and lettuce symbolizing prosperity…The Chinese know how to do it so well; celebrating the New Year over 15 days and inviting everyone to join in this huge feast! February 10th was the start of grand scale festivities with the annual Lion Dance which dates back thousands of years. This creature signifies courage and stability. A mirror is placed on the face of the lion so that evil spirits will be scared by their own image and disappear. The movement of the tail sweeps away bad fortune. A procession starts at the temple and proceeds through the streets, going door to door to each business. Buddha teases the lion while gongs, drums and cymbals spur this massive animal on as it moves in a zig zag pattern (since everyone knows that evil spirits walk in a straight line)! According to Nations Online, “The dramatic climax of the Lion Dance is the “Cai Qing” or ‘Picking the Green’. The green refers to vegetable leaves which are tied to a piece of string which also has a red packet attached containing money. The string is hung above the door of the business, shop (or home), and the lion ‘eats’ both, the leaves and the red packet. Lying on the floor the leaves are ‘chewed’ by the lion while the musicians play a dramatic rolling crescendo. The lull is broken as the lion explodes back into activity, spitting out the leaves. This is a symbolic act of blessing by the lion, with the spitting out of the leaves signifying that there will be an abundance of everything in the coming year.
A shop, business (or household) being visited by the performers of the Lion Dance will have good luck in the year to come.”

May that be for us all!

Happy Holidays To All

Vietnamese Christmas PagentVietnamese Christmas Pagent
Vietnamese Christmas PagentChristmas BabyVietnam is definitely high on my “Places to See and Photograph” list but until then, I had a wonderful time photographing the Vietnamese Christmas celebration. It truly was a triumphant celebration of music, dance and prayer. Although I did not understand much of the language, it did not matter…we were all united in joy! This is my wish for you!

A Day To Remember

The Last Remembrance

We are able to live our daily lives…while so many have given theirs. Here in Philadelphia in 1868, the first Memorial Day celebration took place at Laurel Hill Cemetary.

At military funerals, the flag is drapped across the casket. The blue field is always placed at the head of the casket, over the left shoulder of the deceased. This tradition goes back to the time of the Napoleonic Wars when the dead were covered with a flag as they were taken from the battlefield. During the committal service, a soldier bends on one knee with the folded flag and begins, “On behalf of the President of the United States and a grateful nation, I wish to present you with this flag in appreciation for your (father’s, mother’s, daughter’s, son’s) service. May God bless you and your family during these difficult times.” Most then accept the flag, this symbol of one who lived a life of great courage and valor, and will then hold it so close to their heart. The only embrace one is able to give.

On this day, we offer our sincere and heartfelt thanks to all the families who have embraced the flag and all those who have given us their greatest gift…their lives in the pursuit of freedom for all.

Copyright 2012 Frances Schwabenland. Images may not be copied, printed or otherwise disseminated without express written permission of Frances Schwabenland.

The Year of the Dragon


I send along my sincere best wishes to all my friends of Asian descent who are celebrating this Year of the Dragon. Happy New Year!

The Moon Festival

When I was growing up, I was the only one in my large family who would threaten to run away from home. I am certain that this wonderlust for travel was embedded into my DNA. Travel connects, broadens and enlivens. I totally enjoy engaging with people while immersing myself in a new culture and constantly learning.  I have come to realize that as much as I love boarding a plane (yes, even with all the restrictions…I must be addicted!) that there is so much to see without visiting a foreign destination. Philadelphia, my home, has such a rich and diverse population to explore. Last week, the Vietnamese community of Saint Thomas Aquinas parish all came together to celebrate and enjoy a “Moon Festival”. This is a very important  festival to celebrate the harvest, similar to Thanksgiving. According to The Family Culture, Parents were working so hard to prepare for the harvest that they left the children playing by themselves.To make up for lost time, parents would use the Mid-Autumn Festival as an opportuinity to show their love and appreciation for their children.  This is sometimes referred to as “The Children’s Festival”.  Dances, songs,  contests and gift giving are all part of the fun.  The night ends with a candlelight lantern procession symbolizing the importance of sharing one’s light and moving through life achieving success.

The light from this Vietnamese community was shining through South Philadelphia to be sure, connecting so many. My sincere appreciation to everyone for welcoming me with open arms and checking in often to make sure I had enough to eat!  My heart was so touched by your hospitality!

 

Mummer’s Parade 2011

Starting off the new year surrounded by color, music, dancing and hundreds of comics was the perfect way to go into 2011. The energy and excitement is amazing!