[FirstChurch Mailing List] Rest and Bread, Epiphany! Three Kings Day! Manifestation of our Lord! Adoration of the Magi!I sang alternate lyrics to "We Three Kings" (
We gather tonight to celebrate the feast of Epiphany at 6:30. Tonight we will take a moment to adore God. Won't you come? Music for meditation begins at 6:15.
Deacons will gather for food, business, and prayer at 7:30.
I wasn't really a fan of Laura Ruth's Reflection (though I did like the bit about the magi being astrologers, who observe the cosmos and translate that into terms we can understand, and using that idea for connecting the Creator God who is bigger than the cosmos with the infant Christ). *grump*
We got anointed with (on our wrists) oil containing frankincense and myrrh.
I went up to Laura Ruth's office before service tonight 'cause there were no bulletins and the church office was locked. She said she wanted to tell me something face-to-face. Said a letter had gone out to the congregation but I probably didn't get it because I'm not on their mailing list (and so she wanted to tell me face-to-face before I started hearing it from other people). I said, "I am on your mailing list." (I'd gotten the letter yesterday.) "But you can still tell me what you were gonna tell me face-to-face," I said. "No, it's just what's in the letter," she said.
So what's in the letter is that Laura Ruth's position as Minister of Outreach and Evangelism at First Church Somerville was a two-year (part-time) position. She started in late February 2008 (I met her in early June 2008). She's applied to churches in Massachusetts and elsewhere [Vermont, Ohio, North Carolina, and southern Ontario], feeling called to full-time ministry. Council has extended her contract through June 2010 if need be while she is in the job search process. She's having Thursday night office hours at Blue Shirt Cafe in Davis starting this week.
She said to me upstairs, "I know you already have one loss" [i.e., Tiffany leaving] and I said, "Yeah, I was thinking that when I read the letter."
I hung around after service before Deacons (in part because I was hungry and so was partaking of the abundant Jesus). At one point she asked me how I was doing. I said, "okay." Which was the same exchange we'd had before service. Then I said, "I'm a little bit angry at you for leaving. I mean, not really angry angry, but in an honest emotional assessment..."
LR: "I'm sorry."
me: "It's not your fault."
LR: "I'm still sorry."
me: "Thanks. I appreciate that."
me: "It's not your fault that I didn't know this was a two-year position."
me: "I just assume these sorts of things are in perpetuity. I mean, it makes sense, given this church's finances, that it would be, ''We have this grant money, let's do this thing'..."
When I left I reminded her that I would see her Sunday (because she's coming to hear me preach). She asked how the sermon was coming and I said I'd finished it yesterday and wasn't planning to look at it again except that I'm supposedly rehearsing it over the phone with my friend Scott at some point. She said I could just use a mini-recorder or the mic on my computer and play it back and I said, "I hate the sound of my voice recorded, so no." She said, "You'll be a preacher, you gotta get used to that." I said, "What is this 'will'? All my pastors who are leaving are making sure to share with me before they leave their discernment about my path."
[Scott called me back tonight (I'd called him last night) and I learned that he had basically no Internet in Atlanta -- I had emailed him on Sunday and Tuesday and failed to receive his auto-response -- and also got the story of why he ended up with so much less free time than he had initially expected.]
Oh, and Laura Ruth explicitly invited me to be a part of First Church's pictorial congregational directory (photo shoot this weekend).