Upon arrival to Manchester, I realized that my hair was beginning to make me look like a shaggy dog and naturally I went for a haircut. I found a great barber shop in downtown Manchester called Reed Barbering (yes, there really is a downtown in Manchester! And it's beautiful!). As I sat waiting for my turn to be up, there were three other gentlemen ahead of me - two of them were farmers who had clearly been up and working longer than I had even been awake that morning. I could tell that they were local farmers because of their conversation about crops and livestock, as well as the farm-fresh scent they brought with them into the barber shop. The other gentleman was another long time resident of the area and talked a bit about local politics, much of which I have not been aware of in this area.
As the gentlemen talked, one of them asked who I was and I told them that I had just moved into town and was going to be the pastor at MUMC. They all shook their heads and began to include me in their conversations as we each had our hair cut. I learned quite a bit that day about Manchester, local politics, farming regulations, and a little bit about patience (I was at the barber shop for nearly 2 hours!) All in all it was well worth it!
If you are a new pastor in a new area, look for a barbershop and get your hair cut. It may prove to be a very worthwhile experience.