Recently I was talking to an internet friend about having left a church that was once home but which is conservative in a way where we cannot be our whole selves there. I stand by my assertion that you ultimately drift away from people with whom you cannot be your whole self, but in that moment at Singspiration I was reminded that yes, people who don't Know me can still love me. Which is also a good lesson for me about loving people I don't entirely like.
Earlier in the evening, one of the hymns we sang was "It is well with my soul," and I wasn't actually paying all that much attention, but at one point singing the chorus I felt like I really meant it.
And then this weekend I had a resurgence of grief -- which I think culminated this afternoon in that grief that actually hurts.
that night you leaned over
and threw up into your hair
i held you there thinking
i would offer you my pulse
if i thought it would be useful
i would give you my breath
the problem with death
is we have some hundred years
and then they can build buildings on our only bones
a hundred years
and then your grave is not your own
we lie in our beds
and our graves
unable to save ourselves
from the quaint tragedies we invent
from the stupid circumstances
we slalom through
My deal with Singspiration these days is that I'll sing all of the hymns regardless of my stance on the theology therein, I just edit all the masculine language for the Divine. Singspiration is not exactly bound to the liturgical year, so over the past couple days I've recurrently been singing, "Up from the grave She arose..." (and I keep thinking, "But it's not Easter yet!").
After the Palm Sunday Procession this morning, I worshiped at CHPC because I was slated to lay read. Liz C. said she'd missed me last week and asked if I was okay. Yeah, that's gonna be an awkward email. Ironically, there was a really good presentation during potluck Coffee Hour about the Matenwa school in Haiti, and a lot of folks from North Prospect Union came, and it felt much like the church when I first started attending CHPC.
Now that Nizzi's back from traveling and all, she's more engaged in actually trying to be our pastor. I am grateful that she's soliciting feedback about worship service over dinner (which I've gotten to be a part of both Sundays in a row, because I happened to be sitting near her at dinner -- trufax not on purpose) and I think it'll definitely make our worship flow better and provide a better framework for the next pastor (and there are legit actual changes, too), and it's great that she's really trying to learn our language and our style, but the awkwardness of the learning process during the actual worship service does make me little bit miss the era when Tiffany was our pastor (I am also unimpressed by Nizzi's preaching thus far -- which in fairness has only been two Sundays -- she's not Bob bad, I've just been unimpressed).
Elaine's husband Jerry, who's blind, worshiped with us tonight, and we had some good conversation over dinner about making our worship service more accessible.
Nizzi apparently didn't know until tonight that I write sermons, so she invited me to preach some Sunday before she leaves -- exact date TBD, as she initially proposed May 16 and I don't think I'll be back from Commencement in time.