Joyce, Aaron and Beth Footsteps of Paul Journey


Joyce, Aaron and Beth Footsteps of Paul Journey

Reconnecting….Discovering….and Reaching Out

After 27 years of ministry (serving 6 congregations), the First Baptist Church of Greenwood is allowing Pastor Joyce to take a sabbatical. With the church's help, Joyce received a Lilly Clergy Renewal Grant to pursue her dreams of Following in the Footsteps of the Apostle Paul and reconnect with her own spiritual and family roots. She began her sabbatical on June 10 and will return to her church responsibilities on September 8.

Her sabbatical plans include...

June 14 - July 9 Greece, Turkey, & Italy

The Castlemans (along with Joyce’s brother and sister-in-law) will follow Paul’s journey through Athens, Thessaloniki, Philippi, Ephesus, Ancient Corinth and Rome. Then they will see how the church spread through Italy by visiting Florence, Pisa, Turin, Milan, Verona, Venice, Bologna and Assisi.

July 13 & 14 Judson 200th Celebrations

July 20 - 24 Boston

The Castlemans (along with Joyce’s sister and family) will connect with their Kennedy family history.

August 12 - 24 VA, DE, Philadelphia, Valley Forge

The Castlemans (along with Joyce’s older sister and brother-in-law) will trace their ancestors’ impact on our country—discovering why a mountain is named after them & learning more about George Read (one of the Founding Fathers). They’ll worship at the church that ordained Joyce 22 years ago. Then they will visit ABC/USA offices at Valley Forge.

North America » United States » Indiana » Greenwood July 10th 2013

It's good to be back home!!!!... read more

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice July 8th 2013

Ahh..we are out of the hospital! Thank you for all of your prayers!! We may have had to beg to see the doctor (the delay almost caused us to miss our connetions), but we made it. We caught the water taxi with 2 minutes to spare, bought tickets for the fast train & arrived in Rome at 8:10 pm. Hurray! We are at the hotel, & Aaron is out hunting for a pharmacy to get Beth's meds. Beth is doing well. She will have to see the doctors as soon as we get home because they are still concerned about her appendix. In the will be heavenly to sleep in a bed again! Joyce Good news! They say that she can leave today around 3 pm. Yea! We will take a private water taxi to ... read more

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice July 7th 2013

Beth is feeling better. No fever - yea! She is still has an IV that is driving her crazy. :) The doctor is pleased with her progress. They still want to keep her...they keep saying tomorrow. We pray that tomorrow is the day! She is eating lunch now (I should say she is trying to eat lunch - with her left hand) then they will let her take her 1st shower & they said that she could walk around. Baby steps...but we are on the way. Joyce... read more

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice July 6th 2013

Bad news... Beth has to stay in the hospital until Monday. She has an infection in her abdomen. The infection is probably what inflamed the appendix. She is too sick to travel. Please pray for us. When we told Beth that she had to stay, tears streamed down her face & mine. Today is especially difficult because the weekend staff do not speak English. So we are left to gesturing & guessing. If Beth can't leave on Monday, we will miss our flight back to the States. Aaron may have to leave without us in order to get back to work. The prospect is daunting! The good news is that Beth is finally allowed to eat food. So we are starting slowly. Thank you for your prayers! Joyce... read more

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice July 6th 2013

We still don't know anything yet. Beth had a fever last night - 38C.100.4 F. No fever this morning. They have not let her eat or drink anything but water. She is sitting up & asking for food. Hopefully they will let her eat. We have to wait for the doctor. Apparently he will not be around until 11 a.m. They did do another blood test. Joyce... read more

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice July 5th 2013

Beth slept well - I think the meds helped. The surgeon told us that Beth's appendix was inflamed yesterday. The inflamation has gone down today, so they don't want to do surgery unless it is necessary. They continue to do blood tests - Beth feels like a pin cushion! Everytime they need to do a blood draw - they do a new poke. It is not like in the States were they draw from the IV line. The Head of the Infectious Disease Unit told us thata she will need to stay at least one more day. If she continues to improve, she can leave tomorrow afternoon. She is still too weak to travel.'s off to our old friends in radiology again! The doctor gave us a thumbs up after the ultrasound of her abdomen, ... read more

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice July 4th 2013

Veneziana Hospital...A 15 minute water taxi took us to the S.S. Guianni E Paolo (St. John & Paul) Hospital in Venice. As you have read by now (from Aaron's blog), Beth's foot continued to hurt, & she began throwing up (8 times in 4 hours!). "Pronto" service means standing & waiting until someone appears at the desk or decides to help. Often the hospital staff are doing other things inside & outside the hospital (i.e. The ER doctor put on an red emergency jacket & took off out the front door - he returned a little over an hour later.). The Medico took special interest in Beth because her grandmother & daughter share the same birthday. People wait & wait to be seen here. The hallways are constantly lined with beds & high back wheelchairs that ... read more

Europe » Italy July 4th 2013

Our day started out pretty normal and we took a water taxi from our hotel across the lagoon to St. Mark's Square in Venice. Things ended up with a trip and a stay at a Venice Hospital for Beth. A few days ago during our trip she stepped out of the bus and came down wrong and twisted her right foot. It has been brothering her but she has been trying to tough through it but it got much worse today. I had to go buy her some crutches and then as we were walking her back to the place to meet the water taxi she got sick to the stomach and threw up. She got feeling better and we went on the water taxi to another island for a glass blowing demonstration but on the ... read more

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Verona July 3rd 2013

It is a good thing that we were well rested! We saw Milan, Verona & Venice in one day! In Milan we walked on marble through the Galleria (the 1st shopping mall), spun on our heels for good luck on the bull, & dreamed of all the designer outfits we could never afford. The Gothic Cathedral was impressive from the outside, but under renovation inside. In Verona, we walked along the city walls to the Roman Arena - then on to Juliet's balcony where Beth had her picture taken with Juliet's statue. Yes she did touch the breast for luck - although it took some encouragement from the group! We arrived in Venice by seranaded gondola. I loved seeing the ancient buildings along the canals. A water taxi took us to our island hotel for the ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Lake Como July 2nd 2013

We rose early to go by taxi to La Cattdrale di San Giovanni Battista (Chuch of Saint John the Baptist) in Turin to see the Chapel of the Holy Shroud. We were amongst the first to enter this peaceful place. The shroud is encased in a special box to protect it. Once a year it is taken out during a special worship service, so we saw images of this special burial cloth. Tears came to my eyes as I prayed & contemplated on Jesus death on the cross. The love He has for us! Then we joined up with the rest of our group for a boat ride on Lake Como. The beauty of the Italian Alps create the perfect backdrop to the villas dotting the lake. No wonder so many celebrities want to live here! ... read more

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