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Fold: verb: To bend, mix, wrap, withdraw, concede, drop out. We're familiar with these definitions. But the next is my favorite.

Fold: noun: A pen or enclosure in a field where livestock, especially sheep, can be kept and protected Domesticated sheep need a fold, and a shepherd (or shepherds) for protection.

Wild sheep can make it on their own in the wild. Domesticated sheep - not so. They need the "Good Shepherd" to keep them safe from predators invading and destroying the flock. In a basic word - preservation.

I first thought of a fold when I heard of the Carter Family Fold in the Virginia mountains, not far from Bristol. The family started this fold project to preserve the old time mountain and bluegrass music that their ancestors — A.P, Sara and Maybelle Carter — recorded for RCA Records in 1927. The music goes far back before 1927 but the Carters' preserved it through those recordings.

The Carter descendants wanted to continue that tradition in 1979. I do not know the exact origins of the naming of the Church of the Good Shepherd in 1855. I suspect it was because of the need for a Good Shepherd for this flock of early parishioners. That would have made sense for the rural town of York, or Yorkville as it was known then. To me, it still makes a lot of sense in 2021 in spite of all the changes to us and the town in these 166 years. The Good Shepherd - Jesus Christ - is still needed for our fold of Christians.


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