Continuing Home

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

Monday, January 29, 2007

Annual Parish Meeting and Superbowl Sunday

During my ongoing travel (going home tomorrow) I learned that this coming Sunday is Superbowl Sunday. Somebody must have slipped up, because my winter conference/meetings is often scheduled to include Superbowl Sunday, just the way my summer conference/meetings often includes Fathers' Day. It's also the day we're holding our Annual Parish Meeting.

I confess I don't know what time the Superbowl starts; I hope it's late enough it won't affect attendance at the APM.

Maybe it'll just speed up the meeting (which rarely runs overlong, though).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


This blog will probably be pretty quiet for a week. Yours truly is out of town on business, for a long week of committee meetings. I had hoped to get more material up sooner, including a picture or two from the celebration just noted, but difficulty with trip preparations sandbagged that effort.

60th Anniversary!

Sunday we celebrated Paul and Catherine's 60th wedding anniversary!

We were a little bit late with it, but a whole lot of things sort of went off-schedule earlier with all the bad weather (flooding, windstorms and snow -- and the resultant power outages), so we're catching up.

(It's been strange all around: I've even seen houses with Christmas trees still up, more with Christmas decorations, and even more with "Christmas" lights still up though that may have as much to do with Seattle's dark, gloomy winters.)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Candle lighting order

Fr, Daniel has come up with an "Acolyte-Reader Rota" for the next few months (for Crucifers, Lucifers, Epistlers -- Epistolator is the term I learned, though that does somehow sound like "worshiper of the Epistles"), so we know in advance who is scheduled to serve how and when. This is a Good Thing -- knowing that it takes 22 minutes (+/-1, if everything is normal) to get to church I can schedule our arrival appropriately.

From my acolyte training a long, long time ago, the candles are supposed to be lit 10 minutes before the service, at which point any chit-chat in the Nave ends (and hush in the Narthex is also advised). This means that if I am serving as acolyte, I need to arrive at least 20 minutes before the service in order to get vested, find something to light the taper, double-check that everything is set in the Sanctuary (not a requisite part of the job but over the years I've learned to check), etc.

I might not have to serve as acolyte any more, as Ranjit is taking on the job of Acolyte Master for several of the boys who are now old enough for the job. I think their participation is a great thing! Some things have been missing in what ad-hoc training has been done thus far --when to ring the bells (much simpler today than in years past) and candle-lighting order-- but I'm sure that will resolve itself.

I know this is really deep into adiaphora (inconsequentials -- I think we learned that word in one of our classes last year), but I was taught strictly that the candles lit Epistle-side first, Gospel last, and extinguished in reverse order. (The phrase I recall from almost 50 years ago was, "The Gospel candle never stands alone.") I learned from Fr. David (from Gibraltar) that in the UK the order is the other way, confirmed by an acolyte handbook he had. I wonder how this difference came to pass? Nevertheless, my training stands and I hope we'll at least have consistency. Not that this matters in the least -- maybe I'm just getting old and cranky.

And though I enjoy reading the Epistle, I am delighted to see the monthly line-up of readers. Ranjit's readings are a delight to hear, and I am looking forward to hearing Drew and Brent for the first time.

I'm also delighted to see that the plan for 5th Sundays is to start with Morning Prayer (sung, no doubt) and then continuing with Holy Communion. It lengthens the service a bit, but I myself like it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Speak Through the Earthquake, Wind and Fire

Long about now a few folks at St. B's (I continue to have a really hard time writing the term "St. Bart's": it somehow conjures up an incongruous mental image of a red-mustachioed gunslinging saint, sort of like Yosemite Sam with a halo) have been sitting down to a potluck dinner prior to the last Advent class which we've still not held due to various weather conditions.

I kept thinking of a hymn, but upon looking it up it's a bit unsettling --we've endured flooding, high winds and snow (even as I write my car is parked a ways down the hill because it just couldn't quite make it up to the house, even before the evening's freeze set in)-- but the hymn actually goes: "Speak Through the Earthquake, Wind and Fire / O, still small voice of calm!"

Uh oh. It's worrisome enough to be out in the Pacific Northwest's beautiful tall woods in late summer (the fire season) and late autumn (the windy season), but we're also living in earthquake country, where the dreaded Richter 9 earthquake is rather a bit overdue. Hopefully the Ash Wednesday quake a few years back helped forestalled that.

I still miss the Midwest (and its culture) sometimes. Mosquito springs, muggy summers, miserable February, and the occasional tornado watch. But Earthquake and Fire...? I'll take the others -- speak to me through the snow and sleet and wind (especially once I have a generator and only small harmless fruit trees around the house).

But for now I live in the land of "Earthquake, Wind and Fire" (and big trees and snow and desired change of job). I just need to learn to hear the "still small voice of calm" through it all.

So maybe you'll understand if someday a posting suddenly en

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Vestryman's Vacation

Well, it was not such a big deal to me but others made a lot of noise about it so I might as well mention it: Today's Vestry meeting is likely my last in a long, long time of continuously being on St. Bartholomew's Vestry.

To tell the truth, I don't clearly recall when last I was not on the Vestry, though I know that at least in 1993 I wasn't. It's likely I went (back) on in 1994. I became Clerk in 2001, at least by the first Vestry meeting (2/18/2001) following the Annual Parish Meeting: I wrote the minutes of that meeting. Already this was becoming a bit like my day job as Secretary, Vice-Chair and Chairman of various technical committees.

(Interesting to re-read those minutes; they note that two lights to illuminate the walkway from above down to the Parish Hall would be installed in time for the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. Today those lights are not in use -- perhaps they weren't positioned well. But we have other lights now.)

As I said it's not a big deal to me and I rather anticipate being asked to stand for the Vestry again next year. (Will I be disappointed if I'm not asked? Who is ever disappointed at not being asked to stand for the Vestry?! I'll just take it as evidence that they've got better candidates, especially given that I rate my own follow-through on projects as below my own standards -- and to be frank, others need to be able to serve in these positions to build their own sense of belonging to our church.)

I think it's probably not a good idea to remain on a Vestry for too long a time without a break, which is in part why I insisted this year on a break. In retrospect, the reason I've been on for so long has an awful lot to do with being in the "wrong" place at the "wrong" time, several times.

But I look forward to a vacation while I resolve personal issues such as a change of employment (which would take me off the aforementioned committees), and maybe even a resultant local change of residence.

I'm not off the Vestry yet -- we still have the Annual Parish Meeting three weeks hence. (And the requisite advance announcements will be made in church the next two Sundays, per our Canons.)

I think a break might be welcome, once I adjust to it. A break will at least be different, even strange, but if asked I am quite sure I'll stand again. I haven't spent almost a quarter-century of my life in this church without becoming devoted to seeing its continuance forward.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Delivery Status Notification (Failure)

Sunday evening I sent an e-mail to Bob and Diane. Almost immediately I started getting notifications of delivery problems. Now, 4 days later, it's failed. Couldn't find ""

Advent class canceled

Our last Wednesday evening Advent class was canceled again yesterday, this time due to snow.

About 4:30 yesterday afternoon Fr. Daniel called to say the roads by the church were not looking very good due to the snow. I'd been tracking the incoming storm on the radar on through the afternoon and knew the worst of it hadn't even reached Woodinville yet. So Fr. Daniel called around to make sure people knew the class was canceled -- we'd try again next week.

This seems an ill-fated four-week class on the Psalms, from a book by C.S. Lewis. I seem to recall bad weather kept people away one evening -- I don't remember if it was the first windstorm, during which a 100' to 150' Douglas fir blew down and blocked our road. The next day was our really bad windstorm, and electricity was out for a week. For my part I've had 6 AM meetings at work on Thursday mornings, though those are (hopefully) now ended.

snow By standards of other areas of the country we didn't get all that much snow, just a few inches, but the likelihood of black ice coupled with inadequate road machinery means it gets difficult to get around. When I wake up to scenes like this (from my front door), I know I'm not going anywhere fast.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Group Outing: Dead Squirrels Exhibit


After church today (and the coffee hour, which featured a Simnel Cake in which nobody found the coin!) a number of us headed off to the Pacific Science Center (right next to the Space Needle) to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit on its last day in Seattle. It was a rather gusty windy day, which made at least a few of us (or at least me!) a little nervous after the windstorm a few weeks back. This outing was also one those things that, despite having so many things go wrong, just came out right.

We'd had our group's tickets waiting for us at Will Call, and Nancy had had us in the 1:45 PM block. So a few of us joined the McGraths at what is apparently one of Fr. Pint O'Guinness' favorite restaurants, T.S. McHugh's. (Ours too, but we eat there at most once a year while attending and performing at a huge folk music festival at the Seattle Center every Memorial Day weekend; otherwise we rarely go into Seattle.)

Fr. Daniel had offered "Martha," the church van placed at his disposal, to transport a group into Seattle since parking is often difficult. Kathy took him up on the offer and we gathered a group to go together. One thing after another and Martha's passengers' numbers were reduced to four: Bob and Diane (a couple visiting from Iowa who had attended Christmas Eve and who were present this morning), Kathy and me. Hardly enough for such a large (to me) vehicle, but rather more comfortable than my little two-door, nominally four-seater, 4WD.

Those of us having lunch there trickled into the restaurant. We had a good and entertaining lunch together (interesting -- all the men ordered sandwiches, but none of the women did). Rhonda got some laughs when she said her son Cameron had asked why we were going to see the "Dead Squirrels Exhibit." (oops!)

But we didn't get out of the restaurant until after 1:30, which is the time when we'd arranged to all meet at Will Call for the tickets. For the four of us, Kathy dropped us off at the front door to the Pacific Science Center, which turned out to be on the opposite side of the facility from where we wanted to be. A bit of a problem given that one of our trio was not up to long walks.

Still, we got to where we needed to be just a bit before 1:45. But only Nancy and Paul were there; nobody else had arrived yet! And then we got the next bit of bad news, Nancy had been misinformed or had misheard our entry time. The tickets said 1:15! Somehow, though, this didn't seem to be a problem, and we hung around until everybody had arrived (the picture above was taken long before that time).

We then got in line and entered the exhibit with the 2:00 group. Naturally, the instant I entered I started experiencing some intestinal discomfort and realized I was going to have to leave in order to get to a restroom. Fortunately they had an unadvertised re-entry policy/program so I was able to leave and return, and soon caught up with our (scattered) group.

The exhibit itself? Fascinating! One of the early parts of the exhibit that got my attention os the paleography exhibit, wherein we were shown how a handwritten document could be approximately dated simply by how the characters (letters) were written. (Exhibitor Paul, great job -- and I hereby take you up on your offer to certify me as a paleographer for my resume! :-)

After we'd exited, the four of us climbed back into Martha and headed back to St. Bartholomew's. We had a very pleasant time with Bob and Diane who, we learned, are moving out our way in a few months.

St. Bartholomew's has never in my knowledge arranged a group outing before. This one was great, and I hope we'll be doing more such in the future.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Epiphany and babies

With Epiphany falling on a Saturday, one wouldn't expect a big turnout for Holy Communion (even though preceded by Morning Prayer, while not sung still beautiful), and in this, sad to say, we were not disappointed. We did not have a big turnout, though perhaps it was due to the extensive prevalence of "black ice" throughout the region. It almost doubled the time it took for us to drive to church safely.

Nevertheless I was surprised at the turnout in one regard: fully a third of those who were present were babies (under three years old)!

Friday, January 05, 2007

"In sultry forests / where apes swing to and fro"

In another Internet forum I mentioned our church's exclusive use of the 1940 Hymnal and got the following reply:
I learned to sing from the 1940 Hymnal. I miss it! Some funny hymns in there too...there's one in the "Missions" section (I think it was 262) with a line about people who work in "sultry forests where apes swing to and fro." Classic.
My immediate reaction (beyond "your church doesn't use the 1940 Hymnal?!") was: what is this hymn?

A little research said it's there, and it is in fact Hymn 262. Per another correspondent:

Remember all the people
Who live in far off lands
In strange and lovely cities
Or roam the desert sands,
Or farm the mountain pastures
Or till the endless plains
Where children wade through rice fields
And watch the camel trains.

Some work in sultry forests
Where apes swing to and fro,
Some fish in mighty rivers,
Some hunt across the snow.
Remember all God’s children,
Who yet have never Heard
The truth that comes from Jesus,
The glory of His Word.

God bless the men and women
Who serve Him overseas;
God raise up more to help them
To set the nations free,
Till all the distant people
In every foreign place
Shall understand His kingdom,
And come into His grace
Very English in some ways, but odd that I've never heard this. By my calculations if my church sang only one hymn each Sunday, in numerical order, by now I'd have sung each and every one three or four times. But this one.. never.

Then again there are other hymns I know I've never sung. Such as 468, Dies Irae, the favorite of an old friend, church organist and high-school chemistry teacher named Preston Q. Boomer. Looking at Dies Irae tonight we saw its "Part II" for the first time.

I wonder what else lurks in the unused forgotten corners of our Hymnal. Maybe Fr. Daniel can shed some light into those for us.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Rector's Day Off

I'd held off on this post until the decks had cleared enough to upload and publish the photo that was supposed to accompany this posting... but when it finally happened (this evening) and I looked at the photo on the computer a few minutes ago it was clearly not usable. Too much blur, the bane of otherwise conveniently tiny point-n-shoot digital cameras.

In any event, Sunday was a needed day off for Fr. Daniel. He noted his voice was getting a little raw from all the services during Christmas week, not to mention all the time and effort on his homilies, one of which wound up being mentioned on the Prydain blog just hours after being posted online on the church website.

So he'd arranged for Deacon Ed to conduct the Mass, and because the Deacon's Mass is shorter than the usual Mass we started with Morning Prayer and transitioned into The Order for Holy Communion.

I like this a lot! First off, we sung/chanted a large part of Morning Prayer (that part which we did). In addition we had an Old Testament reading to accompany the Epistle and Gospel. This is A Good Thing, in my humble opinion.

Plus we got a homily from Deacon Ed, whose homiletics are different though absolutely not inferior to Fr. Daniel's (IMHO as a layman). Two strong preachers at the same time in one church -- I think we are blessed. Maybe some day we'll post Deacon Ed's homilies online too.

For his part Fr. Daniel finally got to see a parishioner's view of our service, from walking in holding little Danny through sitting in the pews through the service. I suspect this is a rare experience for Rectors. (Josephine was back at the organ, though, so it wasn't a "whole family" experience. Some day...)

I note that for Epiphany (Saturday) Fr. Daniel has scheduled another Morning Prayer / Holy Communion service. Wonderful! I'd be tempted to record one such for this blog, on the same digital camera with which I messed up the intended photo, but for the fact that you might hear my voice in it. Some things are best heard in person; the ear discriminates better against error than does a recording device, I think.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

While I try to catch up with things...