Continuing Home

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

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Ash Wednesday managed to hit on three related points (to me). The first came out of the readings Fr. McGrath put forth for those of us interested, 40-Day Journey "with Julian of Norwich" (ISBN 978-0-8066-8047-7), a series of readings for Lent that this year unlike previous we are encouraged to read on our own. (This year we will not hold our Lenten Wednesday evening classes.)

The initial point is simple: "God does not despise what He has made." And yet to us it may not be so simple. We despise all sorts of folks, including not just sinners but criminals, as I learned a couple of days ago when reading a news report of a local murder (may the murderer come to repentance).

But then yesterday the noon Ash Wednesday service incorporated "A Penitential Office (for Ash Wednesday)" which included this in one prayer:

MOST mighty God, and merciful Father, who hast compassion upon all men, and who wouldest not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his sin, and be saved; ...
A little bit different from Evening Prayer's:
ALMIGHTY God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live, ...
but the idea is there regardless. Al sinners, even murderers, can be saved.

The final point is driven home through a book I am now reading, Christ Walks: Where Evil Reigned [responding to the Rwandan genocide], authored and signed by Emmanuel M. Kolini, Archbishop of Rwanda, signed by him and sent by an Internet FRiend (thank you Ken!!!!), soon to be placed in our parish library. Christ walked here too...

"Christ Walks" vs. our Book of Common Prayer vs, "40-Day Journey" looks like an triptych, three not quite disparate views of the same issue. An interesting journey regarding mercy lies ahead of us...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

So much for the Continuing Anglican BlogRing

I just decided to check in on the administration page for the "Continuing Anglican BlogRing", only to learn to my horror that the web ring server is gone, replaced an ad for rings. I guess that's why I haven't had any administration e-mails recently. Do I find a new host and start over?

A new Shrove Tuesday tradition

It seems we have a something of a new Shrove Tuesday tradition. Not the (beautiful) Solemn Evensong, with incense -- that was for St. Matthius. Nor the Parish Hall being overwhelmed by children (we need a larger hall, but that's a whole lot easier said than done, given our very limited space for construction). This one's not as fun.

As we began our Pancake Supper I noticed Fr. McGrath wasn't around, and asked. Josephine reported that he was home with one of their children, who was sick. As one always seems to be on Shrove Tuesday, she added.

Hopefully this will be the last year of that tradition...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Especially for Kids and Parents

That's curious. Fr. McGrath just sent out his weekly "This Week at Saint Bartholomew's" e-mail to the parish noting the week's activities, and while reading through I noticed that he had designated one of the four Ash Wednesday services as being "especially for Kids and Parents!" I've never seen anything like that before -- is it just the time, or does he have something else planned?

Perambulating pews

I doubt anyone will notice, but two of our pews switched position yesterday per request from Mary Ellen. Seems there was a little bit of wear beginning to show on the fabric of one of the more "popular" pews, so it was switched with one of the least popular. (No prizes for guessing the relative locations of the two.)

This turned out to be a bit more work than initially appeared, given that the pews are firmly fastened to the floor. And I got a reminder of just how heavy they are.

But for the fabric to only begin to show wear after 23 years -- that's pretty tough stuff. Maybe almost as much as the original green Naugahyde underneath.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Giving up travel for Lent?

I won't say I was seriously considering that but it would certainly have been convenient as I had had no more travel planned until well after Easter. Two-plus months at home!

Didn't last long. Last week I was asked to speak at a small conference in Denver, Friday of Easter Week, and this afternoon to speak in Eugene, Oregon, mid-March. (But that's driving and not flying distance, and mid-week to boot.)

Maybe I'll just give up airplanes for Lent.

Hymn confusion

The dangers of last-minute preparations: I was already seated for the service when the hymnboard went up. No problem until the Gospel Sequence: the hymnboard said #702, but that's the Kyrie Eleison we had just sung. A quick perusal of the bulletin said Hymn #402 ("Munich" -- it seems so many of our hymns are of German origin) -- much better!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

There must be a Proverb for this...

"But at least I'll be able to rejoin the Proverbs class Sunday..."

Ever the optimist. My batting average is just .250, out of four classes I made it to only one -- the first. Being out of town and being exhausted to the verge of becoming ill (before traveling) kept me from two of the classes. The last class was today and I missed that one too.

It wasn't for lack of trying, but my laptop died on the way home from Europe last night and when I was quite awake at 5 AM (as I will have to be for tomorrow's journey out) it seemed a good opportunity to head into the office to see what files I could pull off the machine, in particular the incompletely-updated powerpoint(s) I will be presenting this week in Virginia. No more than an hour or so and I'd be back to get the household up in plenty of time for class, I thought.

Ever the optimist. Just before 8 AM I call home to get the household up. By 8:15 it's clear I'm not going to get home to get dressed properly in time for church, so I suggest they come by work (it's on the way) with a proper change of clothes.

About 9 AM I'm finished arranging for a corporate computer repairman to come by and fix the laptop this week plus I have an alternate machine ready to go, and household is waiting out in the parking lot. Oops. I forgot to ask them to also bring shoes.

So they go on to class and I go home to change, arriving ten minutes before the service but at least the computer situation is resolved for the trip.

There must be a Proverb for this... but I missed most of the Proverbs class, am behind on my daily reading and so I can't think of one.

Speaking of missing things, I also missed yesterday's "Acolyte Appreciation Day" -- as reminded by the lingering tantalizing scents here and there around the Parish Hall, from Ranjit's chicken curry for the acolytes yesterday. It must have been excellent! And tucked in today's bulletin was a little "Acolyte Devotions" flyer with prayers for before and after the service by Augustine of Hippo, John Donne and John Calvin, now posted on the corkboard above the computer.

And speaking again of missing things, the Gospel procession hymn was an old favorite I don't recall singing since my teenage years: #576, Ora Labora:

Come, labor on.
Who dares stand idle, on the harvest plain,
While all around him waves the golden grain?
And to each servant does the Master say,
“Go work today.”
Thank you, Fr. McGrath.

Monday, February 02, 2009

All the things I'm missing...

Today is Candlemas (Purification of Blessed Virgin Mary), and I ought to be at church for the solemn Evensong (with incense), but instead I'm home packing for the next two trips. Or at least I was -- I'm now ready for tomorrow's outbound journey, but you never know what might go wrong while packing.

Saturday, according to the announcements is Acolyte Appreciation Day, and Master Chef (and Acolyte Master) Ranjit will demonstrate making Indian chicken curry, followed by group consumption of same. I'll be on the way home from Europe about then; by my calculation I will have just cleared Customs in Houston and considering lunch at the airport's finer dineries. (Which will it be: Bubba's? Nathan's? Popeye's? McDonald's?)

But at least I'll be able to rejoin the Proverbs class Sunday... before I go home after church to finish packing for next Monday's trip to Virginia for the week.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Annual Parish Meeting

This year's Annual Parish Meeting has to be a record-holder of some sort. Whoever was recruiting volunteers to stand for the Vestry ought to be rewarded -- with a perpetual position as recruiter. We had twice as many candidates as there were open seats! And good candidates all (except for yours truly, whose vacation from the Vestry has been extended by another year): Congratulations to Matt and Sylvia.

This was also one of the quicker APMs I recall -- no wrangling for hours over some little point though the proposed 2009 budget almost took us there, as it usually does.

The "Remembrance Grove" project, planting Flowering Plums (prunus blireiana) as memorials OR remembrances of good events (as DJ said, "Your children pay off the money you loaned them for school") was brought before the parish and in no time all but one of the initial plantings were taken, at $120/tree. There will be a plaque identifying each such tree and the name or occasion or which they were planted. These should be attractive trees, especially when in blossom. We already have one such, known as the "Resurrection Tree" because at one point it wound up buried under a mound of dirt, yet it survived and thrived.