Jen B. on the stairs greeted me calling me "my dear."
I'm very often late getting to service (usually because of chatting with Greeters etc. on the front steps), but today I actually came in not very long after the Prelude had started.
Heather E. and Sarah G. (whose last Sunday was today -- she's heading off to a PhD program) did three songs a cappella:
"Child" (by Heather E.)
"Hunger" (by Maggie Simpson -- I think of it as being a Beth Amsel song, which explains why Google was no help to me when I was looking for the lyrics some weeks back)
"Down in the River to Pray" (arranged by Allison Krauss)
In the Welcome, Ian H. said (among other things) that you are welcome "no matter the size of your bank account, or who you share your bank account with." :)
Sarah G. led the Confession and talked about her obsession with fairness -- and said she needs to focus on her own integrity and not what others are doing. (Relevant to my interests, whut?)
The Unison Prayer of Confession ended, "Help us be laborers in the fields of your blessed creation," which I liked, with its allusion to how we are called to be co-creators of God's kindom of shalom.
In her Assurance of Grace, Sarah G. said, "we can leave the judging -- including the judging of ourselves -- in God's loving hands."
During the Passing of the Peace, Mike R. (formerly of CAUMC) gave me my "Team Cynic" bracelet. (I felt the LOLirony as Ian H. preached -- on Ecclesiastes; for Barbara Brown Taylor's chapter on, among other things, physical labor -- about how the writer sounds so jaded and cynical.)
Ian H. preached on Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23, with the sermon title "Work, work, work!"
He said that Eugene Peterson, in his commentary in The Message, says that we're always trying to be more/other than who we are (we seek money, power, sex, adventure, knowledge, fame).
Ian H. talked about an experience of using a chainsaw -- it's a great power tool, cuts through large branches like butter, but then the blades start to dull and your arms start to ache and you are very very present in the moment, aware of where your fingers and hands and feet are, aware of the ache in your arms and your back, and all thoughts of worry about a promotion at work or anything like that flee as you are very attentive to the work you are in doing in that moment.
He talked about the email Zach B. had sent to the listserv recently about where the produce from our community garden goes -- how he brings it to Project Soup, where a woman gives it to people in need that very day. (I almost got teary.)
I'm always one of the first people to go up for Communion since I sit near the front of the sanctuary, and after taking Communion I opted to go back one of the side aisles rather than going against the flow of traffic in the middle aisle I'd come from -- and I opted to go all the way around rather than trying to edge through one of the pews, but then I was at the end of the line, so I started slipping through to get back to my seat. But watching the two rows of people processing, seeing the whole congregation, I think next time I want to stay at the back of the line as I return to my seat, moving slowly, taking in this whole community. (Especially since we were singing the "Ubi caritas" Taizé chant -- followed by "Let Us Break Bread Together" -- so I could just sing and sing and didn't need to have my bulletin with me.)
At Coffee Hour, Ian H. said something to me about how every time he preaches on lectionary he knows I'll notice and be pleased. I was like, "Really? I saw Ecclesiastes and thought you were going off-lectionary -- though maybe it's in the Complementary reading." (It is.)