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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Time Event
12:28p
[Advent 2] Rest and Bread ("Peace")
When I was helping before service, Laura Ruth said to me, "Molly told me she got an email from you." I laughed and said I'd tried really hard to be like, "I really liked these things, and I didn't like these things, and you did these things really well, and you didn't do these things so well," whereas with Tiffany I'll just be like, "I think your sermon was wrong and here's why," and not feel the need to couch it with "I really respect you" or anything, 'cause I know that Tiffany's known me long enough to know that. Laura Ruth laughed. [I didn't think my email had been excessively critical, but since I still hadn't heard back from Molly -- though yes I know it's a particularly busy season for church folks -- I was a little concerned I'd come off wrong ... and apparently was more concerned than I'd realized, given how effusively pre-emptively defensive I was with Laura Ruth ... though that may have been more a concern for Laura Ruth's opinion of me than of Molly's.]

I asked Laura Ruth if Molly had commentary or if she had just told her that I'd emailed her. Laura Ruth said that Molly had said, "She has thoughts!" -- in what I heard as an approving tone.

Keith came in and Laura Ruth greeted him and told him he'd done a good job as liturgist on Sunday. I asked him what that entailed, and he started to talk about doing the call to confession and I interjected, "Good job on that, by the way." He said, "Oh yeah, you were there on Sunday. Basically what you saw me do up there on Sunday is what the liturgist does." I said I'd seen on the monthly newsletter that along with sermon titles and what-have-you for each week, there was also a Liturgist listed, but I thought of liturgy as the way that the worship service was structured and I didn't think you'd get to just decide you wanted the Call to Confession at the end of the service rather than the beginning or whatever, so I wasn't sure if there was some behind-the-scenes involvement. He said no, you just do the call to confession and the call to offertory.

Laura Ruth said to me that Molly had asked her, "Do you think Elizabeth would want to be a liturgist?" I CRACKED UP.

We were putting the bulletins together, and Laura Ruth asked me to include the fliers for the Christmas Eve Service of Lessons & Carols. I asked if these should be folded as well (we were folding the announcements). She said no, just put them in.
I said, "I think that's awkward, but if that's what you want. Sorry, that was unfair, to lodge a criticism and pretend I hadn't."
Laura Ruth: "I like it when people tell the truth, because I don't guess well. [...] What I'm saying is, I like your way." [my way of being and critiquing ... we still weren't folding the fliers]
me: "Thanks. I'm a fan of it myself. I mean, I'm a fan of it in others -- that came out wrong."

***

The Scripture was Isaiah 40, and I didn't write down where Laura Ruth ended but I think it was the bit about the Lord tending his flock like a shepherd (v. 11, which is where Sunday's lectionary reading ended, so that makes sense).

Keith did the Reflection, and he opened by talking about how pieces of this passage are throughout the music & etc. of this season, particularly Handel's Messiah. He sang the "all flesh... shall see it... together" bit (and Laura Ruth joined in).
That was the bit that had struck me, actually, when I was listening to Laura Ruth read the Scripture.

We sang the first verse of "Silent Night" as the closing hymn. (I didn't ask why the shift from last week's all-three-verses.)

***

After service, I told Laura Ruth I wouldn't be here for the Christmas Eve service (7pm) because I would be home for Christmas Eve, and that I might not be here next week because next Wednesday is the HBS Faculty and Staff Community Party and so I might be kind of drunk. She said that their policy on "coming to church hungover" is that you should come. I said my concern wasn't so much that I would be showing up drunk (and here I told her how I'd been thinking I needed to stop scheduling things for after that party and last year I had been scheduled to have coffee with Tiffany and had told her when I showed up, "I'm a little bit drunk," and she said that was fine) but that I'd be having fun and wouldn't want to leave, so that really I was bringing this up to get her opinion on my not being here. [I do enjoy the service and enjoy seeing her and other people, but I was also concerned because usually I help set up -- not that they can't manage without me, but I felt bad ... and certainly felt I should at least give them a heads up.] She said they would miss me and would "grieve [my] absence" but that they would be fine and I should do what I needed to do.

When I left, Laura Ruth said something about not seeing me for two weeks, and I said yeah I'd thought of that, but that since I'm going to Sunday mornings there during Advent I actually would be seeing her :)

***

Addendum: Thursday morning (5:49am!), Molly replied to my email. excerptCollapse )
11:45p
This afternoon, mjules said, "I was thinking this morning that I've missed your Joy Sadhana."
"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-mylittleredgirl [more info]


Ev'ry valley shall be exalted, and ev'ry mountain and hill made low; the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed. And all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

(Isaiah XL, 4-5)

"Original English text taken from the Scriptures by Charles Jennens (1700-1773)."
-Program Text for Handel's Messiah, Handel and Haydn Society, 2008-2009 Season


Five good things about today:
1. Getting an email response from Molly.
2. Talking church in LJ!  (And in email and on the phone.)
Hee!  Re: Molly's "I try to resist extra directive words in worship, because UCCers are already so darn wordy," Ari said, "I am... really not sold on the "excessive wordiness" thing. Sometimes words are necessary, yo. Maybe the UCC uses a lot of them because they are helpful tools."
3. Best Hire Ever.
4. Leftover fruit salad midafternoon.
5. CAUMC young adult small group.

Three things I did well today:
1. I did ~30min in the weight room this morning.  (I'd increased the weights I was doing some weeks back, but had been having trouble recently, so I moved them back down to what they'd been before, which seemed to work well.)  yesterday's gym... because I'm a completionistCollapse )
2. I worked on my Secret Slasha fic (due one week from tomorrow!).
3. I had breakfast at home today (second morning in a row).
4. I remembered to put out the recycling this morning.

Two things I am looking forward to (doing [better]) tomorrow:
["anything that you're looking forward to, that means you're facing tomorrow with joy, not trepidation," as Ari says]
1. Singspiration: Christmas edition
2. Getting to read on the train ride home.

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