Continuing Home

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

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Smells and Cells

I just received an e-mail asking if I'd serve as Thurifer on Thursday for the vigil of our patronal Festival which will start with a solemn Evensong followed by a potluck supper, story telling and music. (Story telling? Hm. We'll be 29 years old. Do I tell the one about how we shut down the power to the area for a couple of hours? Or maybe that one's better left forgot...?) I'm not too certain of the definition of solemn here, but if it includes the Thurible it would seem to include "high." And that's right -- I'd forgotten about the "Incense Alert" on the Announcements page.

In any event it almost seems a shame to bring in the incense as I am sure the church smells absolutely wonderful already. Today was "Camp Cookie," a day activity for the children to bake up a storm of cookies (plus other activities to distract them from the cookies, perhaps?). These aren't just any cookies mind you -- they're being baked for an upcoming Kairos Prison Ministry Weekend/Retreat (think: Cursillo / Walk to Emmaus) within a nearby prison.

Each day during Kairos a bag of these cookies, the bags decorated by the children and conveying Christian messages of love, will be given to each and every prisoner regardless of their participation. A small inconsequential thing it would seem to us out here, but often enough it slips the message past even some of the toughest convicts' iron armor, bringing them to repentance and a life they never before could have imagined.

Prison ministry changes perceptions and it changes lives, for those outside the walls as well as inside. (And yes, it does not always "succeed" for those inside, but it does often enough that even the Christian inmates themselves are disappointed by those who fail after release.)

Update: Oops. Evensong is at 6:30 on Thursday, not 5:30.


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