[FirstChurch Mailing List] Advent at Rest and Bread, 6:30 tonightWhen I got to church, it was literally 74F in the chapel. I was not pleased. There were lots of people in the office (which was also excessively hot), so I opted to just stand in the doorway of the chapel (I'd propped open the outside door) and finish reading the chapter I was in in The First Christmas. I was feeling really cranky that I was the first person there but I didn't know anything about how they wanted it set up (the space was still set up for morning prayer, which was going to need at least a little tweaking to make it work for this service).
Want to be still enough to see if the kingdom of God within is coming? Want to pray for the return of the light? Need to participate in the mystery of communion until the mystery of the returning Savior is revealed? Come for Rest and Bread tonight at 6:30.
Music for meditation begins at 6:15.
Deacons meeting will follow.
We hope to share our light with you.
After I'd finished my chapter, I went up Laura Ruth's office and she wasn't there so I went to get something from the office and she was there and she gave me the Advent bulletins and the announcement insert, so I went back to the chapel and prepared that stuff. I was cranky that we still don't capitalize "Spirit" in "Hear what the spirit is saying to the church." I was cranky that the Assurance of Grace is now a single sentence ("People of God, we are forgiven" -- with a response: "Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!" which I hadn't realized we were actually going to sing until we got to that part). And then Laura Ruth gave me the "Song of Wonder" insert (what we're doing for Advent instead of reading a Psalm together, apparently -- this week it was singing "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear," verses 1 and 3) and she said they were cut crookedly and I realized that meant that they weren't cut evenly in half by a longshot, which made me cranky.
After I'd finished all the set up, I sat back down in the back with my book. When Laura Ruth left to get some more stuff, she said, "Think about what part of the service you want to do, okay?" And I said okay.
I think then Keith came in and we were talking and that's why I was standing up when she came back. Anyway, she asked, "Do you wanna..." and I was like, "Yeah, okay, if you want me to," and she said, "What am I gonna say?" (meaning, I believe, "You know that everytime you say, 'What do you want me to do?' I say, "What do YOU want to do?'") and I said, "No, it's fine, I'll do it."
I wanted her to notice that I was sullen and somewhat withdrawn, that I wasn't my usual self. I wanted her to ask me how I was, to ask me if I was okay, to ask me what was wrong.
The Sacred Text was two excerpts from Isaiah -- one from chapter 59 (around verse 9) and the second one I mouuthed along to because it was Isaiah 9:2.
The Reflection was kinda meh.
I did my usual spiel for Call to Confession, and I left 45 seconds for silent confession (as I have been doing in recent weeks).
I don't remember at which point during the service I started to feel okay, to be able to let go of all my crankiness and control. (I do know that I tried to shift out of that cranky controlling mindset during the pre-service meditation period because I knew that otherwise I was going to want to spend the entire silent confession time turning myself back toward God and that was going to take way longer than anyone wanted to sit there.)
Lindsay was saying she's domestically challenged -- that she's really bad at ironing things, tends to just hang them up in the bathroom. "You're being ecolologically conscious," I said. "I like that reframing," she said. "I hang out with liberals, so I get really good at reframing -- mostly so I can be a brat," I said. "You're not a brat," Laura Ruth said, hugging me. "Well, in your heart you are," and then she stopped, appalled at herself and flummoxed as to how to fix it. I knew what she meant and she finally managed to articulate: "In your heart you're not, but sometimes in your presentation you are." Which, true.
Lindsay and Keith (and I think Gary) all thought I was preaching this coming Sunday, which amused me. After morning prayer today, Ian and I talked some about my preaching and he said he couldn't come 'cause they're moving this month and I was like, "I'm preaching next month." (I was reminded of "my" Ian and the last party I had.) So I had actually started almost expecting that people were gonna show up to CWM this Sunday, which hey, Tiffany is awesome, so of course I think people should come to my church.
Anyway, we ended up also talking about The Crossing and Advent and Jewish circumcision and I love getting to talk church/theology/etc. with people. Apparently Lindsay does, too, which I hadn't really realized though I suppose it shouldn't surprise me.