Continuing Home

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

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Don't talk about my friend like that!

My esteemed fellow parishioner Drew is apparently feeling a bit down about the class he's conducting Sunday mornings, according to his blog. To which I say, "baloney," "salami," or whatever your preferred sausage meat may be.

That Sunday morning construction traffic held him up the last two Sundays? No big deal -- at least Seattle is beginning to do something about the traffic mess it has ignored for two-plus decades.

That he's unqualified to lead a "searchers'" class (one where the leader doesn't have ALL the answers)? Wrong. I learned a lot last Sunday. And I am looking forward to tomorrow's class.

As opposed to sleeping in an extra hour. My presence will be my vote.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Park & Pray

This Friday I was not tied up at noon, so I drove on up to St. Bartholomew's to join Fr. Daniel for the Litany. (I've written about this before.)

I almost didn't arrive in time thanks to Redmond traffic and Redmond traffic light programming. Most of the time the lights are fine, but travel through Redmond falls apart surprising rapidly when traffic starts getting heavy. I got caught in such a mess with multiple light changes just to pass a single light. (Maybe I should pull out my old college Queueing Theory text...? No.)

But I did arrive just in time: Fr. Daniel was walking from the office to the church for the service. I was pleased to see another car there, though I didn't recognize it. Then I was surprised that just the two of us were saying the Litany.

Afterwards Fr. Daniel explained that Matt had taken advantage of our newly-advertised (to the parish) "Park & Pray" 'program' today. He'd driven over for 7:30 Matins, then walked to the nearby bus stop and caught the 8:10 bus to Microsoft. Smart, from what I've heard of the impossible parking situation at Microsoft.

Many Talents

The past few years I've been amazed at the myriad talents our parish members have, just waiting for the right time to show. That Microsoft software guy Drew is also a master chef, for example (Ranjit too, and maybe one day he and Meyya will have time to conduct an Indian cooking class).

Last weekend, though, I was surprised and amazed by the paper wreaths decorating the windows of the Parish Hall, apparently created for the upcoming ACW Bazaar to be held in the Parish Hall Nov. 9th and 10th, 9 AM to 3 PM. (This is a shameless plug: if you're in the area, do come by.)

There some were multicolored ones and some were single-colored, but all were beautiful. I'd seen nothing like these before, and when I asked I was told that Diane made them during the Womens' Arts & Crafts Social last Friday. Whoever told me about it Sunday described as she just sat down with some paper and scissors and... there was another one.

Also a bit surprising to me was the way the camera refused to take a proper picture of them. Picture after picture came out over-saturated, as in the first photo posted here. If I shot from a long distance so the picture was a bit dark, it worked better.

But in any event, here was yet another unsuspected talent in our midst suddenly on display.

(It's a measure of how busy the week was that I didn't get around to this posting until tonight, having planned it Sunday afternoon, but better late than never. I also had been planning to be at the Bazaar to help out and take pictures but just realized that I can't; I'm going to be in Egypt for a committee meeting instead -- my talent seems to be a high tolerance for coach class airplane seats and hotel meeting rooms.)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sailing to Columbarium

The Mens' Group met this morning and for (I think) the first time we were all there for Matins. I was a little surprised at the number of cars in the parking lot when I pulled in a minute or so before the service --the downside of knowing exactly how many minutes it usually takes to get from home to church but departing a minute late-- and I was doubly surprised that only Fr. Daniel was in the church when I entered.

All became clear a couple of minutes after I took my place in a pew, when I heard the downstairs door open and voices echo up the stairwell.

I was seated on the Epistle side, my traditional seating at least since the early 60s (I don't remember seating preference too far beyond that). I was glad Gordon joined me there so that when we read the appointed Psalm antiphonally by side I wasn't reading alone.

A nice service, and great to have more of the men participating. No work party this time; it's cold, wet, and grey autumn (perfectly lovely for confirmed Pacific Northwesterners) and there's little to do (I think) other than clean up windfall, but there was little enough of that.

The Mens' Breakfast was interesting. Mens' Breakfast and Shrove Tuesday Master Chef Gordon worked his usual magic (though I still haven't seen those barbequed eggs). I forgot where the conversation began, but Matt soon noted he'd passed his sailing class -- and it turns out we have a bunch of variously-experienced sailors in the Mens' Group, yours truly included. (It seems my experience once of seeing my boat's centerboard rise out of the water, and descend back again without capsizing, remains very unique.)

Lots of chat about sailing... and soon enough, through twists and turns I can't recall, the topic turned to The Columbarium. I agree that it would be nice to have a Columbarium -- it would have been nice to have had one a few years ago when Fr. Leen passed away, but we didn't. To our surprise, in this county quite heavily beset by government regulations, we're already zoned for same. We just need a design and a location and funding.

Does it go outdoors? Would it be secure there? (The little statue of the B.V.M. in our garden, seen on our website, disappeared a few months ago.) Or should it be indoors somewhere? How do we set up the funding? A number of questions to be resolved.

And though it will matter nothing to me what happens to my body when my spirit is departed (I've signed the requisite organ donor cards -- hey, maybe somebody could take advantage of a slightly-used brain in fairly good condition?), there's an odd sort of comfort in thinking one's ashes would reside near one's church. (And if that doesn't happen, just bury these ashes alongside my New England in-laws' -- hey, I married into a good family. And I wish some of them were still around.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Windy Wednesday

The forecast is for wind and rain tonight, and significantly strong winds tomorrow. After last December's windstorm (as recorded on this blog), it's no surprise people are getting nervous. We do get big blows from time to time, though October is perhaps a tad early. In my quarter-century in the Pacific Northwest I've seen:

1983, Thanksgiving Day: high winds knock out electricity to a million-plus homes in this county. (I learned about cooking turkeys on Weber BBQs, a tradition continued ever since. So much more tasty, for all that it never seems to go quite right!)

1992: high winds sink part of the I-90 floating bridge.

1993, Inauguration Day: winds knock out electricity to a million-plus homes in this county.

But at least St. Bartholomew's is ready if anything significant happens. Sunday I noticed that the socket for the generator had been installed and (presumably) wired to the transfer switch, some time during my travels. And I guess that if we do lose power Fr. Daniel can move over to the church -- taking care of a baby and a young child in the dark and cold, alone, sounds like an awful lot for one parent.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Amish Mass

Today I was able to make it to the second of Drew's classes on "The Flesh & The Spirit in the writings of St. Paul." (No class notes, so I'm in the dark on the first.) Interesting study, but just as it was leading into a very interesting discussion for which I was trying to formulate a thought for contribution, I had to duck out to prepare for the service, noticing in passing that the organ was still locked up. Odd.

As noted in the preceding entry, our regular organist Josephine is away at UC Santa Barbara this week for a lecture and recital, part of her work towards her doctorate in music. (We're praying it all goes well.)

Fr. Daniel has a doctorate in music already, and between the two of them the music program at St. Bartholomew's has reached levels I've never before seen. It's wonderful, and there's a plan to take it further, but that's for later.

Today, though, we went in a slightly different direction. With Josephine away, Fr. Daniel decided that instead of calling on our backup organists (yes, now plural), we'd do the Order for Holy Communion a bit more "Amish style," as he put it -- the hymns would be sung a capella.

I confess that inwardly I winced a little when I heard this. We've had a capella services in the past and, well, we weren't as bad as the choir at a previous church where they quite honestly called themselves "The Joyful Noise" (but we knew them well so it didn't matter; they were trying), but I was quite often relieved when it was over.

What a surprise! The congregation sang quite well; I think I heard several strong voices leading the rest.

I just wish I'd memorized the words to Adoro Devote (#204), a favorite, so I could have sung along while serving the altar.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Litany

I meant to write this entry last Friday, but instead got caught with final trip preparations -- I had to fly out Saturday morning for two days of committee meetings in Germany and only got home late last night. And during most of that time I had no time for the Internet. (I'm waiting for the final word, but it is looking like I'll be spending the better part of a week away, somewhere in the world, every month for some time to come, though I may get a break in July and August.)

Unfortunately I forgot to pack the book Abba (noted here). I certainly had plenty of time on airplanes and in airports, particularly yesterday with my 26-hour journey home.

But in any event, Friday I went over to the church to join Father Daniel in saying The Litany. It's now at noon, so I can get there during lunch if I'm not otherwise tied up. I'm sure most of the time he's there reading it alone, but to my ear it really needs the Minister and the People.

In any event it's a good office for an old sinner, beautiful and, in my opinion, too much neglected. It's one of those myriad offices in the Prayer Book that, not being Morning/Evening Prayer and Holy Communion, is rarely if ever read. One of the things I enjoy about having Fr. Daniel as Rector is the (re-)introduction he's brought to the breadth and beauty of the 1928 Prayer Book.

Not to mention all I've learned from him about the 1940 Hymnal, which has taken it from a mere collection of hymns to an, um, additional expression (if that's the right word) of the American Anglican faith. What treasures we have under our very noses, too often unrecognized.

But all that's an aside. While reading the Litany with Fr. Daniel, I came across a slightly odd note. Early on there is a series of:

Good Lord, deliver us
Followed by:
Good Lord, deliver us
And then suddenly:
In all time of our tribulation; in all time of our prosperity; in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment,
Good Lord, deliver us.
Whoops! How did that "prosperity" passage end up in there?? That's a good thing, right?

Okay, maybe it's not. If "prosperity" becomes the goal, the end for which all else is forsaken. (And one sees that often, living here in a most prosperous corner of the country, itself one of the most prosperous nations on Earth. Ummm... how often are we tempted by the same?)

A major lesson slipped into six incronguous words, in an oft-neglected office.

REMEMBER not, Lord, our offences, nor the offences of our forefathers; neither take thou vengeance of our sins: Spare us, good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood, and be not angry with us for ever.
Spare us, good Lord.

10/12 Update: Tried to get away for the Litany today, but between the need to submit my visa application for next month's trip and a phone call from my new boss (who happens in the U.S. for a few days) I was tied up past noon. Hope it was more than just Fr. Daniel and the squirrels today.

10/13 Update: Received an e-mail saying that the Offices and Litany won't be read the 12th through the 19th because Josephine's away so Fr. Daniel's busy taking care of the children.