Practicing Sabbath in COVID time

Brown’s List--- Places to see Natural  and Creative Wonders, While Social Distancing.


As a result of the Connecting Survey done by the Membership Board of First Congregational Church Bellingham,  we became more  aware of amazing gifts people are willing to share with others during e times of COVID. Thank you to all who gave suggestions and offered services.


One of these resulted in  "Brown’s List"--- Places to See and Creative Wonders in Outdoor Settings, while  practicing social distancing.  Each place will offer:

  • Wide open spaces for social distancing (no need to be on narrow paths or trails).
  • Unique elements of  natural and creative interest. With strong possibilities for experiencing flora and fauna.
  • Historical significance.
  • Easy access and  be inside  of the city limits.


Perhaps you want to meet another person from your safe five there, or go with family members. We do suggest if you go with others, as part of your time you separate and find a spot for a few minutes of solitude, meditation, and prayer. Try to build a little bit of sabbath rest into your explorations of Brown's List. Below is the first suggestion from Herb & Marion Brown


Fairhaven Park

From Herb & Marion Brown

Fairhaven Park (107 Chuckanut Dr. N) has lots to recommend it. As far as we know it has the only outdoor labyrinth in the area. We are so lucky that we can walk the brick labyrinth and meditate in a wonderful green natural setting. You can breathe in the fresh air. The  labyrinth is on a knoll at the far end of the park, just north of a shelter.  


Padden Creek winds through Fairhaven Park. It drains Lake Padden for about 2.7 miles before emptying into Bellingham Bay. There are trails that follow it that can be accessed from several points. If you have access to the Internet, please look below for the links to Bellingham City’s maps of the park, it’s trails, and the identity of the trees that are there.  


Be sure to look carefully in the Padden Creek for fish (depending on the time of year you might see salmon) and trout. The City of Bellingham Public Works Department notes, “Each of the salmon species have their own spawning schedules. So far this year [last year?], we observed a few pink salmon in August and early September, twenty-one Chinook salmon in September, four coho salmon in early November, and forty-nine chum in late November/early December.”  


But also, look up! We once saw a Barred Owl watching us from a fairly low branch of a Douglas Fir near the creek. It was not at all concerned about us, and it allowed us to take a number of memorable pictures with it. Also, while sitting quietly enjoying the solitude one day, Herb once saw a falcon attack a robin, feathers flew in all directions, and off the falcon went with the robin. Within 5 minutes the starlings returned and started looking for worms again, paying no attention to the feathers that remained of the robin. Of course, this is not a common experience, but it is always good to be still and watch and listen for the birds that surround us. Enjoy!


The first land that was donated toward this park was in 1906. Aren't we fortunate that people wanted to set aside land for parks! A short history of the park is included in the first link below.