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The Baptism of Abigail Elizabeth Dalland

The Baptism of Abigail Elizabeth Dalland

On Saturday, June 12th, in the rolling hills west of the Hudson River in Columbia County NY, we gathered, as we had several times earlier, at what has become the park-like estate of Dr. Edward and Mrs. Lynette Dalland.  Abigail Elizabeth Dalland, the senior Dallands' first grandchild, child of Eric and Karen (nee Durgee) Dalland, born December 17, 2009, was baptized at The Rock, once a solitary glacial stone, now enshrined alongside an arbor.  Aunt Joanna Dalland and Uncle Michael Dalland were baptized there years before, on the edge of a forest now cleared.  Bob the Baptizer had been there before, for Michael and Joanna; just as he had presided at the baptisms of Aunt Barbara and Dad Eric earlier in Mt. Sinai, Long Island, back when Dr. Dalland owned and operated a veterinarian practice in Farmingville.

You can trace these connections at these postings on the website at: Barbara and Shawn's Wedding and Eric and Karen's Wedding.

As Barbara and I drove through heavy rain squalls in western Massachusetts toward Coxsackie, we wondered if a baptism by The Rock would be possible.  Upon arriving at Coxsackie the rain had relented, becoming a gentle mist.  Family and friends encircled the arbor and the rock on which the baptistry, a large scallop shell, was placed. The baptism proceeded with libations and victuals before and after.

The reception for the guests, close to a hundred of us, was held in a tent adjacent to Eric's workshop (Eric has a home construction and renovation business; Karen has been teaching in Albany twenty miles to the north, the city of their residence), which housed the bar and buffet.  I asked the servers if they were from a local caterer, and they said that they weren't, that they were friends of the family.  Grandma and grandpa could be seen scurrying between their house and the workshop bearing tray after tray of roasts and desserts.  Grandma Lynette is legendary for her culinary skills, and could have been the genius behind a certain feeding of five thousand in a much-cited miracle from the New Testament.  But she did not take credit for the large cake which capped the dining. 

A Prayer for Abigail

God of all the children everywhere, who knows each by name and numbers even the hairs on their heads, the God who not only knows each of us intimately, better than we know ourselves, but who loves us nonetheless, we celebrate today your gift of Abigail, fair and sweet, easy to love, held in the arms of a caring and faithful family.  Holding her, thinking of her and the future that stretches before her, we offer ourselves to be your hands to guide and protect her; your thoughts to teach her faithful ways; and your heart, from which to pour forth an abundance of love and, with it, the assurance that she is somebody eternally important.  Give her, we pray, rich personal resources of courage, resilience, and resourcefulness; and crown it all with a gracious and winning spirit.  To that end, supply Karen and Eric with patience and wisdom and more than a little help from their friends.  In the name of him whose name Abigail will one day confess, the one who even now keeps her close to his bosom, our Lord Jesus.  Amen.


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