Community Classroom: Many exciting ideas coming to fruition

Community - Classroom - Emily Rancier

Spring finally surrounds us in all its glory. Everyone I speak to remarks how all the flowering bushes and trees have burst into bloom all at the same time; I think like a choir bursts into song. What a sight. This is the only season that I miss having my sheep. The new greenness, the new lambs, the new beginnings. I miss how in spring the lambs never tired of chasing each other in and out of the openings in back of the barn, and running at break-neck speed up and down the sluiceway. We called it the “lamb races.” Early evening, for only a few weeks each spring, we would be treated to this romp. We laughed and savored this exuberance for life, as brief a time as it was.

It is not easy to write a column after all the exuberance of spring semester has exhausted itself. Here we are at the end of the semester with not much to say — before summer programming has jelled, and just as we are barely beginning to plan for the fall. There are so many exciting ideas flying back and forth and up and down, it’s dizzying. Thankfully that’s true; we are never at the loss for ideas. But at this time, we just can’t give you much firm information.

We do know there will be summer programming; we hope it will cover many useful and timely topics like health issues, an opera talk, composting, CPR, a 4-week writing course for teens being some of them. Look for the announcement in the papers and come by The Gathering Place for more information.

We do know the Gathering Place will be open more hours for people to drop in, meet for conversation or “alone “ time, time to write, draw, color in the many coloring books we have on the tables. We are looking at Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Now is the time if you wish to volunteer to come forward and let Anne Armezzani know when you are available. It takes a village to make a village community art and education center work.

We do know that the new Art Show will open Fourth Friday, June 22. Our theme is”Land, Sea and Sky.” The call for entries goes out next week. We expect and hope this theme will attract a lot of local artists who have not participated before, and urge them all to enter by sending the entry form (online at and a digital file of the pieces they want to submit to Dori before June 8.

We do know we will present “Two Local Ladies Read Poetry” the following night, June 23. Our good friend Laurel Radzieski has just been published and will read from her book of poems called “Red Mother.” Daryl Sznyter will accompany her and read from her own work, also. With wonderful new paintings on the wall and fresh new words resounding in the air, it should be a great evening for the arts.

We do know there will be a modest Strawberry Festival 5-K Run sponsored by the Running Center on June 30. Vendors are welcome to set up outside from 9 to 11 a.m. Let Anne know if you are interested.

We do know that ABPA is planning a Block Party the weekend of July 13-14-15. More information will follow. The Gathering Place will open its door to vendors at a Marketplace from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 14 .Let us know if you are interested in obtaining a table by filling out the application form found online at

We at The Gathering Place bid MaryAnn Nichols a fond farewell as she moves from the area. She was instrumental in steering the Capital Campaign, speaking to endless businesses and individuals to raise money to create The Gathering Place. She also initiated our wonderful cooking classes. We are forever in her debt, and will miss her graciousness and professionalism.

The fall schedule is gradually falling into place. There will be many returning courses and instructors as well as new ones, new noontime talks, exciting new cooking classes (will they be held in our own TGP kitchen? We’ll have to wait and see). As always, hope to see you at The Gathering Place.



Emily Rancier

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at