Continuing Home

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Family That Serves Together...

Drew, having taken on the position of Acolyte Master from Ranjit, has just sent a draft new rota to the various servers & acolytes. It was interesting to see the "family ties": Matt, Stephen and Laura; Ranjit and Kavya,; Larry and James. They serve together each in one or more of the various positions: Cross bearer, Banner bearer, Torch bearer (x2), Altar server and Lay reader. The one combination that doesn't occur is Drew and Prue, but Drew is serving 5th Sundays only and it's better that Prue has the regular monthly service.

Fr. McGrath's blog, revised

Fr. McGrath noted here that his blog has been renamed, from "Anglican Parish Priest" (which is no longer accurate) to the naval-themed "Anglicans Aweigh" -- fitting for a Navy/Marine chaplain. I look forward to reading about his experiences.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Choir practice

almost wasn't, Thursday evening. About half the group didn't come, for one reason or another. I might almost as not not have; I couldn't hit any notes right. But I was also concerned about packing and being otherwise prepared for Friday's trip out to France, door-to-door about 22 hours.

And even then I forgot to do things such as printing a map of how to get to St. Alban's, Strasbourg.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Blast from the Past

We had "visitors" today. To my shame I recognized them instantly but it took a LONG time for their names to flow back. They were very active members of St. Bartholomew's (Vestry, etc.) until 10 years ago when work sent them away elsewhere in the country. Their departure was a sad day here, but in my time here we've had so many sad days when members move away (Roger, this includes you!) one doesn't even tally them anymore.

But this visit was a complete delight. Their son (now at 6' plus not so little anymore) has moved to the area to attend college. He'll be mostly working on weekends but we hope to see him from time to time. He likes fishing so maybe we'll have him soon, um, hooked into the not-yet-formed GAFF (Guild of Anglican Fisher Folk). We have folks who can tell hm where the best fishing is to be had, at least.

And to the rest of the family I say, "We hope you'll come back here often for visits!" You're still part of our church family.

Friday, September 18, 2009


It's not often I update the website three times in one day, but today was one of those days.

First was just bringing it up to date as of this morning, updating the service schedule for this coming Sunday and removing outdated items.

At that point I thought I was done for the week but I wound up at St. Bartholomew's mid-afternoon because I was already in the neighborhood, and learned that tomorrow's Men's Breakfast had been canceled while we re-organize. Okay... in case anyone is making their plans based on the website I needed to update that immediately. Done.

Then a bit later I receive Fr. Davis' e-mail to the parish (all but the two of us now without e-mail) and there were a few more items that I had overlooked (including Bishop Provence's upcoming visit for Fr. Davis' installation as Rector) or hadn't noted, including the upcoming Ecumenical (musical) Event hosted by nearby St. Jude's (Roman Catholic) at which our own Schola Cantorum will be performing. Okay, another update needed. Done.

But then I read this item from Fr. Davis' e-mail: ''our very own gifted group who intend to "make a joyful noise unto the Lord" (Psalm 100).'' Ohh.. boy... was I ever tempted to comment.

Understand. many years ago I was a member of a semi-rural parish roughly our size, maybe a little larger, whose choir had named themselves with absolutely precise and accurate nomenclature: "The Joyful Noise." The first time I visited... well, forget that. I became a member and when I got to know these folks the emphasis I took changed radically from "Noise" to "Joyful." For a certainty they'll never be ranked as the world's greatest choir (at least here on Earth -- who knows about after?) but they were OUR choir, doing their best and we all really appreciated them!

But as a result, whenever I read "make a joyful noise unto the Lord" I end up praying, "Lord, would you please help me/us do a little better than that -- at least when strangers are listening?"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Prayed for sun

Fr. Davis' mother was scheduled to arrive from Louisiana today for a week-long visit, and apparently her first to the Pacific Northwest. This being an iffy time of year weather-wise, as we shift from the gorgeous long dry (most years!) summer days towards dark gloomy wet winter, a number of us were praying for sunshine so she would enjoy her visit, for all that the early mornings are going to be chilly.

When I awoke this morning and looked out the window, all I could think was, "It's not going to happen." Dark, and with the reddish-brown dawn light that says "rain" or at least overcast. But it turned out okay. It burned off and the day became bright, warm and sunny.

But there is rain in the forecast...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"I will make you to become fishers of fish"

That part is already accomplished, it seems; it turns out we have a number of fishermen in our congregation, including Bob, Cynthia (some say the entire Davis family), Heather and Kavya. So already there's talk of them going on, er, fishing expeditions.

Sounds like a good idea to me. They should get together to form the Guild of Anglican FisherFolk (GAFF). They could form a school to teach the youngsters how to go fish ("spare the rod, spoil the child"); I nominate Bob for leader.

The jokes just keep writing themselves, but I think I should stop here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Paul Sr.'s Memorial

Paul Sr.'s memorial service was today, but we had to hold it at the First Congregational Church in Bellevue because the anticipated (and actual) turnout was much too large for our church. In fact it was so large that they ran out of bulletins. Though that was not too surprising once one read his obituary; he'd been involved with far more things than I knew, for all that he had already been retired a quarter-century ago when we both joined St. Bartholomew's parish.

Catherine had asked if I would serve, as Crucifer and Reader. It was an honor to do so; thank you, Catherine!

Poor Fr. Davis ran into a series of last-minute hitches that threatened to significantly delay the service, but tackled them head-on and we started pretty much on time with a beautiful service and a wonderful sermon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Help from afar

Well, the three young women may be away but Ruby just rendered us invaluable assistance. An e-mail forwarded to the group has not only links to a nice recording of the entire piece, but a website with "a pronunciation track, individual parts broken up, and the whole thing." Thank you, Ruby!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


It turns out I was wrong about the Schola Cantorum. The group is being formed for an ecumenical musical event to be held at a nearby Roman Catholic event. Fr. Davis picked a group and, in casting about for a name, thought of "Schola Cantorum". He was quite amused that we already had had same, with much the same folks. (Three of our young women's voices are now scattered around the country, away at college, but we'll just have to do without -- at least until they improve cellphones' speakerphone quality.)

First practice tonight wasn't too bad, at least for those of us who haven't sung in a long time. With a little practice I think I could regain the necessary range for tenor, through baritone felt more comfortable.

But we're going to need more than just Thursday night practices; perhaps a short session after Coffee Hour too.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

...and the Schola Cantorum too!

I'm missing the history behind Fr. Davis' last e-mail, but it seems the Schola Cantorum will be alive and well!

I'd thought that after the departure of the Rev. Dr. Daniel & Dr. Josephine McGrath we'd rather wind back down to something like the level of music we'd had before, but it seems that's not to be. And I am glad.

Fr. Davis has just asked for all the usual suspects from the Schola Cantorum to preview sheet music he'd e-mailed us (PDF, of course) and get together soon, possibly Thursday evening, to rehearse for an upcoming event about which I know nothing, at nearby St. Jude's. On the other hand, "all the usual suspects" must have come from a list somewhere because my name is on it and it's been a while since I've been able to sing. I fear that on this I'd just cough my way through (a side effect of some medicine).

But he's asked us to cast the net wider for folks willing to join.

And I hear wind of other music programs to come.

Did I mention that he also sings Mass quite well?

Well, THAT didn't take long...

As I saw at the tail end of an e-mail to the parish, Fr. Davis has already discovered some of the delights of the Seattle area:
And finally, the Seattle Symphony's Beethoven & Wine Festival runs from Wednesday through Friday of this week at Benaroya Hall. Starting at 6:15 PM each evening, you can sample up to four pours of Northwest wines for only $5. But better yet, somewhat abbreviated, no-intermission, all-Beethoven concerts begin at 7:30 PM for lower prices than would typically be the case. Moreover [...] you can get an additional 50% off! Cynthia, the children and I will be attending Wednesday night's concert (featuring the Piano Concerto No. 1 and Symphony No. 7) for only $4.50 each (+ the ubiquitous service fee)!! Featured Thursday evening will be Symphony No. 3 “Eroica,” while the festival will draw to a close Friday with the beloved Symphony No. 5. So for half the price of conforming to the ways of the world and bankrolling Hollywood's latest bilge, you can affirm Philippians 4:8 with timeless music from an orchestra that's one of the very best in the West in one of the most renowned concert halls in the nation. Selah.
Philippians 4:8   Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Priest's Pulpit 'Puter

In one way I'm amused and in another way I approve: Fr. Davis has his sermons before him on his laptop in the pulpit. A new tradition forming...?

Not sure of the expense/energy/carbon difference between printing a couple or so pages vs. some 75 watt-hours of running the machine, and although my day job touches on these issues I am not going to follow through. This may well be the "greener" approach -- though I still hope he's printing a copy for John, who is deaf, to follow along. (Maybe in a few years he can send a copy to John's cellphone...)

But I am sorely regretting missing last Sunday's service due to illness -- he built upon that sermon with today's and I sense a series being formed.

But for all our numbers were expectedly low this Sunday, despite the unusual cold (52F this morning here!) and rain we were delighted to welcome Neil, whom we know from diocesan Family Camp, visiting in the area.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Autumn comes

Saw the first real signs of autumn today -- at higher local elevations cedars with fronds beginning to turn orange, and all around small but significant numbers of deciduous leaves turning color, including a few maples. The soon-to-be ubiquitous spiderwebs are beginning to appear too. All fairly much on schedule though it's odd that the regular early-morning fogs which usually start in August haven't been around. Maybe they require warmer summer days to get going.

With all the rain that's been coming through here lately (one forecast says thunderstorms tomorrow) it's almost funny to think back just four years (to the day?) when Fr. McGrath & family arrived and he texted me: "I'm here -- where's the rain?"

This year has generally been cooler and wetter (and with a LOT more snow) than usual. Fr. Davis and family should brace themselves for the slow passing from Seattle's gorgeous summer season into our ugly dark winter.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Travel planning

As Fr. Davis can attest, I've been a bit wound up recently by work issues, not the least of which is some upcoming travel. The latter includes a stay in Strasbourg, France a bit over three weeks hence. It's been difficult trying to get Kathy there on my frequent-flyer miles and we still aren't sure it will happen. But it would be wonderful to have a native French-speaker there with me -- with her coaching I can now pronounce "Strasbourg" almost correctly. Almost.

But during an e-mail exchange with Fr. Davis this afternoon, I suddenly thought to check whether there is an Anglican church there -- and there is! With Sunday morning Holy Communion (09:40 BCP), some two kilometres from the hotel. If all goes well, they might get a visit from the Wandering Anglican.

Stay tuned.

Update 9/04: Plans for Kathy fell through. But my flights are booked; I will arrive Saturday afternoon.