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Sat May 20, 2017, 08:26 PM

I got to hear Jimmy Carter teach his Sunday School Class in Plains, GA last Sunday!

About 3 weeks ago, I posted a thread praising FLOTUS Rosalynn Carter.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10028985186
DUer NCTraveler responded, and mentioned that he had visited Plains and included a link to his own previous thread, which contained info about Carter's teaching schedule. I decided to make a small pilgrimage of my own. After all, I live in Tennessee, so it was a feasible weekend trip. I am so glad I did....what a rewarding experience! I stayed 2 nights at the Koinonia Farm, which has a remarkable, 75 year history of social justice advocacy and is also where Habitat for Humanity originated. One of the Koinonia residents is a member of Carter's church, Maranatha Baptist, and she invited me to go as her guest. That enabled me to show up right before the 10:00 class, instead of at 7:00 as most other tourists have to do to secure a seat. President Carter is amazing. He is over 90 years old now, but he stood up the whole time and taught the class without using any notes. He and Rosalynn are gracious enough to stay around after the service so that anyone who wishes to do so can come up and have a photo with them. The lady that I went with invited me to have lunch with her and her son, but since it was Mother's Day I didn't want to horn in. I ate at the humble Plains Cafeteria, and who should be eating there as well but President and Mrs. Carter and their whole entourage! I also visited the high school they both attended, which is now a National Park Service historic site.

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Reply I got to hear Jimmy Carter teach his Sunday School Class in Plains, GA last Sunday! (Original post)
Tanuki May 2017 OP
spanone May 2017 #1
skylucy May 2017 #2
Docreed2003 May 2017 #3
furtheradu May 2017 #4
erronis May 2017 #9
Brainstormy May 2017 #16
Tanuki May 2017 #19
Lochloosa May 2017 #5
LaydeeBug May 2017 #6
MyOwnPeace May 2017 #7
lucca18 May 2017 #8
Tanuki May 2017 #18
rurallib May 2017 #10
BlueIndyBlue May 2017 #11
Liberal In Red State May 2017 #12
proud patriot May 2017 #13
No Vested Interest May 2017 #14
joanbarnes May 2017 #15
CrispyQ May 2017 #17
dembotoz May 2017 #20
Tanuki May 2017 #21
dembotoz May 2017 #22
Tanuki May 2017 #25
niyad May 2017 #23
DrDan May 2017 #24

Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 08:29 PM

1. K&R...That's Great!!!

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 08:30 PM

2. That is so totally cool! Thanks for sharing!

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 08:42 PM

3. That's awesome!! Amazing story!

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 08:43 PM

4. O, MY LORD! How Wonder FULL!

Thank YOU for sharing Your personal experience!! I do love & respect them.
Can You share Your thoughts, feelings on the "Sunday school class" teachings from Pres. Carter?
I have been called, "too witchy for church, too churchy for heathens", & I'm OK with that!
I KNOW Righteous people when I see 'em. The Carters ARE RIGHTEOUS. 💖💖💖💖💖
Thank YOU, again!

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Response to furtheradu (Reply #4)

Sat May 20, 2017, 09:28 PM

9. Righteous is always good. Not when it's equated to religion.

Many religions have tried to corral converts by telling then that there is only Their Way. Religions have usurped so many pastoral, cultural, agricultural, celestial events that it's comical watching try to justify why some leader died on a Friday or was born on someday.

I applaud the Carters for being honest and pragmatic about their beliefs. They have never said (as far as I know) that a particular cult or sect of the Christian branch called Protestant is the "right" way. They have lived righteous lives. They serve as great examples of how someone who identifies as a Christian can also be a beacon to this non-theist.

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Response to erronis (Reply #9)

Sun May 21, 2017, 10:32 AM

16. I also love and respect the Carters, but

I've found it difficult for some time to understand how they still identify as theists.

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Response to furtheradu (Reply #4)

Tue May 23, 2017, 01:11 AM

19. Briefly, the lesson was from the 8th chapter of the book of Acts.

It took place about 20 years after Jesus was executed. The early Christian community in Jerusalem consisted of Jews and Hellenists. The latter apparently felt they were not bring treated as equals and that their widows and others in need were not being dealt with as charitably as the Jewish widows. A team of 7 , including Philip and Stephen, were appointed to make sure everyone was being looked after (and Carter pointed out that all 7 had Greek names, so that they would be seen as fair). Fast forward, there is an upswing in persecution of the Christians, Stephen is stoned to death and is the first Christian martyr. Philip goes to Samaria to escape a similar fate. Carter points out that he was both an evangelist and a refugee there. Not so subtle dig at you know who. Carter also cites Jesus' respect for and inclusion of the people of Samaria, who were looked down upon by his community, both in his story praising the Good Samaritan and in the Great Commission. Carter emphasizes Jesus' inclusion of all, says that Jesus did not build walls but tore down walls between people. He didn't mention Trump by name at any time, but he couldn't have been more clear. He also spoke of visiting Samaria in a post-Presidency trip to the Middle East. Said there were now only about 600 Samaritans. Spoke of his disappointment in his defeat the first time he ran for governor, said he did not understand how God would let him lose to a segregationist like Lester Maddox. He then volunteered as a lay missionary in Pennsylvania for several weeks and shared his faith 1-on-1 with hundreds of people, found it very rewarding and subsequently did it again in (iirc) a couple more states. Talked about redemption, how regardless of what has happened you can have a new lease on life, starting today!
So, that is my recap of the lesson, to the best of my memory, and if any part of it is wrong blame me and not President Carter! He is a peach!

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 08:52 PM

5. I met President Carter once. He has the most amazing eyes.

I know, weird. The are the most beautiful blue eyes I've ever seen.

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 08:55 PM

6. This is amazing! Thank you for sharing it. nt

 

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 08:55 PM

7. And to contrast.......

who would EVER go to hear Drumpf at a church - does he even know what that is? Well, maybe he could ask the two Corinthians he hangs with!

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 09:16 PM

8. I love Jimmy Carter.

It sounds like you had a wonderful day!

He is such a good person.

https://www.cartercenter.org

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Response to lucca18 (Reply #8)

Sun May 21, 2017, 11:37 AM

18. Thank you for linking to the Carter Center. Their work is

peerless and will be an enduring legacy to their vision, values, and dedication to make the world more peaceful, fair, healthy, and democratic.

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 09:34 PM

10. thanks for such an upper of a thread

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 09:43 PM

11. I did the same thing!

I traveled to Georgia from Indy to hear his Sunday school message about two years ago. It was right before he announced the cancer diagnosis that he had received and the Charleston church massacre was the previous weekend. Unfortunately I wasn't able to arrive right before 10 am but more like 8 am. It was still fun though as we got a speech from one of the elders of the church. She told us how to address him (President Carter not Mr. President as there is only one of those at a time), topics he wouldn't discuss and when taking pictures with him we had to stand on either side of him and Mrs. Carter. She explained that they have never let anyone come between them for over (at that time) 70 years and they weren't going to start now.

He was very engaging and smart as a whip during his talk. I wish I had been old enough to have appreciated him when he was in office but I was just starting high school and not very interested in political things back then. I stayed for the pictures and as the only African-American there that day he made a special point of motioning me over and speaking to me. I was caught off guard and tongue tied and walked away thinking of a million things I wish I had said. Such a once in a lifetime experience. I highly recommend anyone that has the ability to go hear and see him. Also afterwards, take a tour of Plains. They have preserved the downtown as it was when he was elected. I also visited the Carter Library in Atlanta. It was totally fascinating to see all the history of the time.

One last travel tip, about an hour away from Plains is Warm Springs where FDR died. I veered off after leaving Plains and toured the grounds. They have a museum and have preserved the home exactly like it was on the day of his death. It is much smaller than I would have thought but is in a beautiful place. It is also a National Park Historic Site.

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 09:44 PM

12. I envy you . . . President Carter is the politician I became involved for . . . Imhavr never been

disappointed in either him or Rosalyn. They are integrity, graciousness and service personified.

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 10:02 PM

13. what an amazing experience

thanks for sharing it

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 11:10 PM

14. About 18 yrs ago, spouse & I went to Plains as part of an Elderhostel group.

Last edited Sun May 21, 2017, 12:29 AM - Edit history (1)

We were headquartered in Americus GA, but hubby and I went over to Plains that Sunday a.m., as the Carter Sunday School was not part of the program. Hubby walked with a cane, so we were seated quickly and right in front. President Carter's teaching was on a portion of the Gospel of Matthew - he knew it well.
He and Rosalynn also posed for photos after the service; the picture is on my mantel to this day.
As part of the Elderhostel study group, we also had a tour of the High school and drove by their present home.
Another day we had a talk by the local woman who came to Washington with the Carters to help get Amy, their then elementary school age daughter, settled and adjusted to the White House and to Washington DC.

Edited to add: I've also gone to book-signings by Pres. Carter. He's always gracious.

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 11:52 PM

15. Lucky! Allow me to repeat, he is/was OUR GREATEST PRESIDENT.

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 11:16 AM

17. Thank you for sharing your story!

Carter was the first president I voted for at 19.

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Tue May 23, 2017, 07:12 AM

20. Wow something to add to my bucket list

I an so envious, never occurred to me that one could go to his class.

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Response to dembotoz (Reply #20)

Tue May 23, 2017, 08:52 AM

21. You should go if you can! Here is his schedule:

http://www.mbcplains.org/?page_id=212

As I said in my OP, it was only a chance interaction with NCTraveler and his sharing of this info that made me realize it was something I could do. I mentioned that I stayed at the nearby Koinonia Farm, and I think that most here would be interested in staying there or at least stopping by for a tour and lunch. I had heard of the late founder, Clarence Jordan, but did not realize he was the uncle of Carter chief of staff Hamilton Jordan. Here is a bit of info about Clarence Jordan and Koinonia:

http://www.plough.com/en/topics/faith/witness/clarence-jordan

https://www.koinoniafarm.org/brief-history/

Other local places of interest include the Habitat for Humanity Global Village in Americus and the Civil Rights Museum in Albany. And Atlanta is only a little over 2 hours away, for those who might be coming from a long distance and looking to fly in. There is also an airport in Albany, which is much closer. A local told me about a sightseeing train that runs from Caneel, GA to Plains.
When I reflected on the fact that our beloved former president will be 93 years old in October, it spurred me out of my usual tendency for procrastination and I will always treasure this joyful trip.

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Response to Tanuki (Reply #21)

Tue May 23, 2017, 12:42 PM

22. these date are a bit quick but thank you

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Response to dembotoz (Reply #22)

Tue May 23, 2017, 12:57 PM

25. Keep checking the website if you can't go that soon but are interested in going later.

When I first looked, they had only posted the dates through June, but now they have the July dates. Apparently they don't want to to get too far ahead of themselves, which makes sense.

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Tue May 23, 2017, 12:52 PM

23. thank you so much for sharing such a lovely day with us!!

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Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Tue May 23, 2017, 12:53 PM

24. got to meet him at a tech fair in Cairo years ago - my pic with him is one of my treasures

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