Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A gas can, rabbits and the end of Choir Day Camp

After work I was headed up Avondale Road to take a back way (avoiding known traffic choke points -- this is Seattle, after all) to a campaign kickoff fundraiser at a nearby winery.

(This was unusual two ways: it's traditional here for the kickoff fundraiser to be a breakfast, but our candidate notes he's not really an early morning person. But being unconventional didn't seem to hurt as I've never before seen a kickoff that appeared to have 100+% attendance).

I was just about to pass the church when I remembered that Nancy B. was going to leave the weedwhacker gas can in a spot near the far end of the parking lot and traffic had been far better than anticipated (I was expecting half an hour just to pass the church, and had left a full hour to get to the winery, but I'd been on the road not quite ten minutes), so I pulled in.

First surprise: the young rabbits dodging off the drive back into the woods. A year or two ago we'd cleared out the ugly thickets the rabbits had been inhabiting, but it seems the rabbits are back. Deer and now rabbits; are they adapting to more urban locales? (Then again, a few years ago a coyote made it onto an elevator in the federal building in downtown Seattle, and young cougars have been seen in a suburban park near Microsoft.)

Second surprise: no gas can. But there are several possibilities for this.

Third surprise: Fr. Daniel was there. As he noted on the previous blog entry, the first day was tiring. I figured that after wrapping up the Choir Day Camp today with Evensong at 3 PM (instead of the usual 5:30), he would have gone home to rest. But I had completely forgotten today was St. Peter, Apostle, and at 6:00 there would be Holy Communion with a supper in the Parish Hall following at 6:45. So here was there, taking care of a few odds and ends, and kind of enjoying the sudden new quiet about the church after the past three days.

So we chatted a bit about things. Camp was a success, the girls got some good training (we'll be hearing them soon, no doubt), and Fr. Daniel has made notes for next year's camp. There was a little bit of attrition through the three days, due to holiday plans elsewhere in the country. Hmmm... maybe backing it up to the 4th of July "weekend" might not be the best thing to do.

I look forward to hearing more about the camp, and hope to have pictures soon.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Choir Day Camp starts today

The Choir Day Camp starts today, with all available seats filled. This is something rather different from the traditional Vacation Bible School.

I know a lot of hard work has gone into preparing this camp; I look forward to hearing the results later on, and reporting on it here.

Fr. Daniel has cautioned that there may not be a lot of immediate follow-up in July and August, but come September he'll have more time available to work with the choir.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Where have all the flowers gone?

Although it is rather warm out today, it's not quite the predicted heatwave. I wasn't too uncomfortable.

But there was an interesting discussion today about the recently planted roses. (Some were planted down below in the Memorial Garden after the old outside toolchest was removed by the men last week; others had been planted elsewhere around the upper gardens.) It seems all the rose blossoms disappeared during the week.

Suspicion immediately fell on the likely culprits: deer.

There seem to be a lot of deer around this year. At home all 19 rose bushes have been completely stripped. We have experienced occasional losses over the years, but nothing like this. And the deer are everywhere; just on the way home from church we had to stop to avoid hitting a little fawn, no more than a foot to a foot and a half high, dashing and darting back and forth on the road.

Mary Ellen noted that there are three deer who've taken up residence in the woods on and next to the church property, and we've seen their hoofprints in the gardens.

Somebody remembered that we've had a spray bottle of deer repellent (rather expensive stuff, too) tucked away in a closet and pulled it out. Maybe it would help.

But Dee noted that some of the roses had no deer tracks around them.

Then it came out that the deer weren't solely responsible for the roses' disappearance. The roses hadn't been planted just to look nice in the gardens; they were intended to supply blooms for decoration.

I don't think the repellent will work on the Altar Guild.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Heat wave

The weathermen are forecasting a heat wave tomorrow. Ugh; we have no air-conditioning at church.

Then again, we're in the Pacific Northwest where 95% of the houses also have no air-conditioning (my house included, and my car also). It's rarely needed and besides, a heat wave in Seattle would probably be considered a pleasantly mild summer day anywhere else in the country. Plus we have plenty of natural shade, thanks to our really tall trees. Experience says it should be an absolutely gorgeous day tomorrow.

I'm one of those most comfortable when it's cool, though I know some of our parishioners will enjoy the warmth. But I do hope Fr. Daniel will permit fans in the sanctuary.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

First (gray) day of summer

Fr. Daniel asked me to check up on the church this week while he was away. The church is only a few minutes' drive from work, so it's easy to swing by at lunchtime.

I thought that since summer had arrived this would be a good time to bring the camera to take a new panoramic banner picture for the website. The current one was taken in spring.

And while I was at it, I thought, this would be a good opportunity to try out the "panorama assist" feature of the new mini digital point-and-shoot. I've not always been quite happy with the results of stitching together digital photos taken with the old 1/3 (yes, one-third!) megapixel Mavica and the newer 6 megapixel digital SLR. Getting the brightness, contrast, etc., to match across shots isn't easy, especially ever since Microsoft ruined Photo Editor in the change to Picture Manager. Photo Editor used to be great for work like matching pictures; the more difficult stuff was done in Corel "Photo [Whatever] 7" but that doesn't work with Win2K. Neither the Gimp nor Image Editor, the two tools I have today, make this easy and I'm not ready to spend... ummm... this blog is supposed to be about the church, not digital photography. Sorry.

Well, in case you haven't already sneaked over to check the website only to find the same old picture there... it didn't work out. Despite the forecast for sun the sky remained white, with that awful headachy glare Seattle is so good at this time of year. And of course my sunglasses were sitting in my pack in the office (which is dark because the blinds are tightly shut against the glare).

Maybe another day. I figure a picture for each season would be about right.

6/22 AM Update: Bright and sunny today, blue skies. I'll try again at lunch.
6/22 Noon Update: Bright and sunny, blue skies didn't last. It's gray again.
6/23 AM Update: Bright and sunny today, blue skies. I'll try again at lunch. 6/23 Noon Update: Some overcast crept in. Oh well.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

In passing

I'd half-expected this, but less than a half-hour after posting the previous post (from the airport headed home), we met Fr. Daniel departing the plane at the same gate we were about to board. All these may be a long way from St. Bartholomew's but the diocesan church camp is only a few miles from my sister's house, itself not all that far from Beth's school.

Father's Day

Since I last posted we've had the (monthly)Friday evening Ladies' Crafts Evening, the (monthly) Saturday Morning Mens' Group, Bible Class and more... all without yours truly reporting.

But there's a good reason for that, and here she is:

We were traveling to attend our daughter Beth's graduation, to see her get her Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering (she's going on for her Master's). This just happened to coincide with our wedding anniversary -- and just two days before Father's Day. What a way to make this old engineer proud!

(BTW, that's her fiance in the glasses.)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Kneeling, or Communion, Hymn

Surely I'm not old enough to be experiencing "senior moments," but I've had a bit of a growing question over what seems to be variously known as the "Kneeling Hymn" or "Communion Hymn." I do not recall encountering this at all before Fr. Daniel's predecessor introduced it into our service several years ago, sung immediately after Communion and before the Thanksgiving.

Sung while kneeling -- a definite departure from the usual "stand to sing" element of the service that I grew up with, and I noted last Sunday while seated in the pews (Fr. Daniel spared me from serving, I was a bit too tired from this virus) that we had some confusion about whether to sit or kneel for the hymn. My voice was beginning to come back, and I'd have to say "kneel" if only because I had better voice/breath control kneeling than sitting.

But I simply do not remember the "Communion Hymn" from way back, and a quick look around the province's websites tells me some churches have it, some don't.

As an aside: Our habit (I can't quite call it tradition yet) has centered around Hymns 196, 197 Picardy (we sung this one Sunday and this raised the question), 199 Pange Lingua, 203 Rockingham, 204 Adoro Devote, 208 Penitentia, 209 Martyr Dei, and 211 Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring. Personally, my absolute favorites are 197, 199 (vs 1-4), 203, 204 (which I don't quite have committed to memory yet), and 209 (verse 1 I have).

The rubrics in the 1928 BCP certainly don't even mention this hymn, but it is at the very least a nice touch, even if it breaks the "rule" of standing to sing.

What do other Anglican churches do?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Josephine's Baby Shower

Update 6/13: Pictures are posted.

Baby Shower The women of St. Bartholomew's held a baby shower for Josephine yesterday. Debra, with help from Nancy F. and Rhonda and many others, organized the shower which was held in the Parish Hall.

The young girls present helped decorate the hall, including a clothesline that featured hand-decorated (by children of the parish) paper "baby laundry", which hung over the rocker where Josephine sat and opened the gifts. They also helped in kitchen preparing cucumber sandwiches and teapot-shaped cookies decorated with lemon curd and fresh raspberries, to accompany the rest of the bounty of food prepared for the "afternoon tea." (We feasted on leftovers this morning after the service.)

Many of the cards were written by the children of the church. The youngest writer was five-year-old Kavya.

Among the gifts was a knitted pair of booties, along with the pattern from which they were knitted. That pattern is an old family pattern developed by a member when she was 97 years old -- "These booties will not fall off the baby's feet!!"

Josephine was not the only recipient of gifts; little Danny received a few too so he wouldn't feel left out.

The silver tea and coffee services were specially brought in for the shower. Kathy brought her lap harp and played.

The shower itself, not including the hours of preparation, lasted about three hours. Nearly all the women of the parish showed up (the parish hall was packed), and there was plenty of animated conversation as people who had not seen each other in a while caught up to date.

All in all, Josephine's baby shower turned out to be a real church community event!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Church and the Natural World

Fr. McGrath has written a most thoughtful piece on the relationship between the Church and the natural world in the Trinitytide Newsletter now posted on St. Bartholomew's website.

In the conclusion he requests that the parish read the Benedicite, omnia opera Domini, found on page 11 in The Order for Daily Morning Prayer (and Hymnal #627), which he promises we'll sing in the procession next Rogation Sunday.

I was considering posting it here, but it's a bit long for the format of this blog. However, a little search turned up a copy of Morning Prayer online, and if you scroll down a few pages you'll find it. It begins:

Benedicite, omnia opera Domini.

O ALL ye Works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Angels of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.

O YE Heavens, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Waters that be above the firmament, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.

I recommend taking a couple of minutes to read Fr. Daniel's piece in the newsletter.

"Love and Obedience"

Speaking of preaching, the sermon "Love and Obedience" by Deacon Paul Kelly of St. Joseph's Anglican Church in North Carolina (a sister church in our province) was noted on the Prydain blog yesterday.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Preaching on Pentecost

Great... I am told! Unfortunately I awoke Saturday morning very sick with some virus, and I wasn't much improved this morning after coughing all night, so I had to stay home and miss Deacon Ed's homily. I gather he covered the Collect, Epistle and Gospel as well as today's Bible Study class on Ephesians -- quite a range!

I've said before that we're blessed to have two great preachers. The Prydain blog frequently notes sermons published online by the Rev. Samuel Edwards of Holy Comforter (who preached at Fr. McGrath's ordination); I read his sermons and see a similar quality here.

I would very much like to know what was preached: I'll have to ask Deacon Ed for a copy via e-mail.

Update: That's what I get for linking the title and the body, then changing the title without checking the body. If you were confused by the original opening to this post, the original title was something like "Great Preaching..."

Thursday, June 01, 2006

St. Bartholomew's Day Choir Camp for Girls

Fr. McGrath has been considering and planning this for some time but only recently nailed down the dates for St. Bartholomew's Day Choir Camp for Girls (June 27, 28 and 29) and produced a flyer.

Just as I was about to start typing in some material from that flyer, I noticed that Fr. Daniel had e-mailed out a copy. So once it finishes downloading, I will quote from it here. (I am sure it will be up on our website soon too.)

From earlier discussions we've had there will be an application form once the legal aspects are hammered out. The camp is free (though donations are requested) in part if I have this right, to some generous benefactors. Fr. Daniel and Josephine will be the choir teachers, and several other parishioners who have volunteered to teach and direct other aspects of the day camp, including Rhonda and Josette.

Uh oh... the flyer finished downloading but the ZIP archive is corrupted and won't open. Oh well, here is a bit from the paper copy (any errors are mine):

Four Reasons why your daughter may want to take part in St. Bartholomew's Choir Camp this June...

...the Camp  The goal of this camp is to provide our girl choristers with the opportunity to increase their musical skills, learn new choral repertoire, worship God, build friendships and have a good time. Musical instruction will be lead by professional, university trained musicians ["trained" is a bit of an understatement in my opinion -CH], in a safe, supportive environment. Since St. Bartholomew's is an affiliate of the Royal School of Church Music, we are pleased to be able to offer the RSCM's well-established Voice for Life chorister training program. This is a graded program which helps young singers learn how to read music, sing with beautiful healthy vocal technique, and handle themselves well in Church. Each of these skills will remain valuable for a lifetime of singing.


I have to say I'm a bit envious of the opportunity these girls have. I sang in a church choir (as an adult) for a year or two quite some time ago ago, with fair instruction -- but nothing like what I believe Fr. McGrath and Josephine can provide. Even so I extended my vocal range quite a bit and was told it was "naturally" wider than normal. Of course the years of wild wanton wastrel [TM] living ever since have taken their toll and most those gains and more have been lost.

Hmmm... I thought I remembered an Anglican blogger writing about a camp for Anglican Chant a year or two ago, but all I can find is one from him on Gregorian chant.

Update June 3rd: The church's website now announces the camp.