Totally sucked in
So in the time period when I wasn't posting regularly, a friend of mine made the mistake of sending me a Youtube link (long since misplaced) for a Sawyer scene on "Lost." Since Husband and I were like the last people on the planet to not have seen any of "Lost," we have since rectified said omission by immersing ourselves in the Season 1 and 2 DVD sets (and you all wonder why I hadn't been posting).
It's dealing with something like this that you realize that there are two very different personalities at work. Left to my own devices, I would probably have had Lost marathons at every possible opportunity; Husband is usually content to take in just one. (Sometimes I can talk him into a second one, but then he has to cut me off). He should probably always accompany me to yarn shops as well.
We're only partway through Season 2, so I don't want any spoilers (holding off on watching any of Season 3 for the moment).
There really hasn't been a substitute for the demise of the Whedonverse (Buffy
) but a good session of Lost
angst does wonders for keeping minds off real-life angst.
The first Friday of Lent
calls for pondering the weighty issues that face the Episcopal Church or examination of the ways in which I fall short of the mark.
But instead I'm just going to report that the staff of the nursing home I visited a couple of times this week informed me that they've nicknamed me the Vicar of Dibley, and I am inordinately pleased by that.
The morning after
Ash Wednesday, like Holy Week, has come to be one of my favorite times of the church year. And I forget every year, until I'm in the middle of it, how much I love it.
There's a rhythm to the day that is deeply satisfying. It was even more so in my first job out of seminary, where we offered the traditional Ash Wednesday service three times during the day. At St. C's we have two services, and last night we were joined by many of our brothers and sisters from the ELCA congregation around the corner, which led to a pleasantly full sensation in the nave.
It's the repetition of unique actions and words that I find most appealing as the day goes on. I think that's why I miss that ritual of doing it three times. The first service usually gets the kinks out--where are the ashes, did it work if I knelt here or there, did I blithely add in an "Alleluia" where there shouldn't be one, etc. By the second and third time, the routine has settled in, and I can kneel and pray Psalm 51 and the Litany of Penitence (actually, I got so carried away last night during the Litany of Penitence that I forgot the Lutheran pastor and I were alternating petitions--oops). And there is a different kind of intimacy in making a cross of ashes on someone's forehead than in giving them communion.
We're going over to the Lutherans' for Good Friday. Really, we ought to plan one of these joint service things sometime when we can have a rollicking good party afterwards.
About the affairs of the wider church, I have many thoughts, most of them scattered and ill-defined. I do know I am tired of the Episcopal Church being considered the naughty province that should be in timeout for betraying not actual rules but unspoken boundaries. That is the hallmark of a dysfunctional system. Accepting judgment from a Communique before there's a Covenant seems kind of backwards to me.
My Ash Wednesday fast
I'm thinking I might refrain from reading any news about the Anglican Communion today.
God is in the details, right? Right?
You know you've crossed some sort of line in your life as an ordained person when the thing that makes you most excited on a Sunday morning is to walk into your church and discover that the new Junior Warden has managed to install programmable/timer thermostats on the furnaces in the worship space.
Aside from the squeeing over that (thanks be to God, the clergy and the vestry no longer have to remember to turn the heat up or turn the heat down, or which furnace has to be set lower than the other one for them to work properly), I had a very nice weekend which included a Quiet Day hosted by our chapter Daughters of the King. A local lay spiritual director came and led us through an introduction to centering prayer and lectio divina. We had 24 people throughout the day, including three Lutheran women from our neighboring ELCA congregation. We are working to build a stronger relationship with them, and I'm very excited to see the glimmerings of that.
Quiet Day reminded me that I am still not naturally a contemplative but I can play one on TV. No, seriously, being someone with some extrovert leanings, I find myself drawn to contemplative worship, as long as there are other people in the room being contemplative with me. So maybe one of my Lenten tasks will be to find a way to work some group contemplative work into my prayer life. Our 20 minutes passed much more quickly than I would have imagined.
The "Alleluias" are buried, the Feast of the Blessed Pancakes is tomorrow, and Lent begins. Ashes? Check. Lenten materials for all ages? Check. Ash Wednesday organized? Eh, that's what Shrove Tuesday is for. . .
Labels: church life
No, seriously, don't faint. Two posts in two days?
1. What is one place you make sure to take out-of-town guests when they visit? (you can be vague to preserve your anonymity if you like
)We've only been in Oklahoma City a couple of years, but already we have discovered that the one place all of our out-of-town guests want to see, unsurprisingly, is the memorial to the Oklahoma City bombing. I find it a very peaceful and thoughtful place to visit myself. My favorite time to go is at night, when there are fewer crowds, and the glass chairs are lit up. It's such an intersection of tragedy and hope, and its power is hard to put into words.
2. When visiting another city or town, do you try to cram as much in as possible, or take it slow and easy?Husband is slow and easy, I'm a crammer--which means when we travel together, we meet somewhere in the middle (the good ol'
via media, I suppose.) When I travel by myself I tend to go and go and go. I always think "what if I'm never back here again?"
3. When traveling, where are we most likely to find you: strolling through a museum, checking out the local shopping, or _________________?All of the above? I was a museum educator in a previous life, so I do enjoy exploring them. More and more I like to do outdoor things. I love taking walks when we're in Utah, or hiking up in the mountains. Then there's that small Local Yarn Shop problem. . .
4. Do you like organized tours and/or carefully planned itineraries, or would you rather strike out and just see what happens?I like to take organized trips when they get me into places I couldn't swing on my own, but pretty much I'm an independent traveler. When left to my own devices I end up planning slightly kooky trips. One time, when I was in England, I completely flummoxed someone at one of those Tourist Board offices when I wanted to take a trip from Canterbury to Norwich to Cambridge before heading back to London. This made no sense to her, but it made all the sense in the world to this recently graduated seminarian to travel to the heart of Anglicanism, to spend some time in Dame Julian's town, and to visit some other English seminarian friends at Wescott House.
5. After an extended trip, what do you find yourself craving most about home? My own bathroom and not having to work so hard for every meal.
The blogger of this blog?
Nothing worrisome to report; just hadn't particularly felt like blogging.
I think I'm going to make a daily blog part of my Lenten discipline.
See you all on Ash Wednesday.