[Easter 3] Rest and Bread, Blue Shirt Cafe, etc. (faithful living and faithful transitions)
We were prepping the Elements in the kitchen (the chalices and patten were still in the dish drainer from last week) when Kerrie
She hadn't realized we were prepping for service, and she decided to stay for service (she's never been to Rest and Bread in the nearly two years it's been going on). But she still wanted some wine now. I said, "You can pre-party with Jesus."
Somehow vodka came up.
Keith said, mock-defensively, "Potatoes were very important to Celtic Christianity."
me: "So vodka and potatoes instead of wine and bread for Communion, huh? Well when we talk about what if any changes we want to make to the Rest and Bread service, we can take that under consideration."
The Sacred Text reading was Luke 5:1-11.
I thought, "That's an Epiphany reading! I remember Tiffany's sermon on that!"
Keith did the Reflection. He talked about how this passage mirrored this past Sunday
's Gospel passage.
He said that this Sunday the disciples go back to fishing -- we don't know if they've gone back to it as a way of life or if they just needed something to eat.
Again, they're catching nothing, and again Jesus shows up, and then
they catch abundantly.
Keith talked about faithful living and faithful transition (this was the theme of his Reflection).
quote: "perhaps with some denial before the actual transition"
He reminded us that we will build on the beautiful and faithful life we lived before.
Jesus tells the first disciples that no longer will they fish for fish but rather they will fish among humankind -- keeping the metaphor.
His question for us to reflect on: what have you learned from your faithful living that will help you with your next faithful transition?
Marlin talked about how his father's mind is going: last time he went to see him, his father was living in 1968 -- and he said that that's not a bad time for his father to be, a time when his ministry and his family were both young and growing. And he said that he hopes that he lives his own life such that if someday down the road he finds himself living certain times again, it will be a good life to be returning to.
Maria talked about actively having faith -- something she, like me, is bad at (e.g., it's easy to say I trust God, but when push comes to shove, I need to find a job
, or whatever).
I had no idea how I was going to tie any of this to the Call to Confession (I've taken to extemping a thematic connection), but when I started I found words. I said we acknowledge those times when we have failed to live faithfully, not to wallow in the guilt but to move back to the path of faithful living, returning always to a God who is always welcoming us back.
Our closing hymn continues to be "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" ('cause it is Eastertide), and wow it's loud in that chapel with 11 people singing. (I think we had about half that number last week.)
despite the 3:24pm timestamp, I still hadn't seen this by the time I went to bed ~9pm last night (Yahoo!Mail being wonky, I suspect):
[FirstChurch Mailing List] Rest and Bread tonight, then Council...
We have our beautiful service of Rest and Bread this evening at 6:30. Keith will reflect, Elizabeth will help help us name what distracts us from rising, Tara will play and help us sing. Come share silence with us from 6:15-6:30. Our service of prayer and communion goes from 6:30-7:10.
Just after, our Church Council will meet. Do you ever wonder how things get done around here, how decisions get made? Come and see, come and be a part of the process. All are welcome. Ian, as Moderator, leads the meeting.
We'll be glad to see you tonight.
morning prayer lectionary:
FCS-Ian commented on the fact that Esther spent a year (at a spa, it sounds like) preparing. I was like, "Yeah, I know! I had forgotten that!"
He also commented on the fact that he keeps expecting big things from Esther, since she has a book named after her and all, but she hasn't done anything heroic yet. (He didn't say this as a criticism -- he said it partly as a statement of continuing anticipation and partly as a neutral/positive reflection.)
I (silently) recalled Tiffany's (frequent) invocation of "for just such a time as this" (which I assume must have been in her Esther sermon
, unless she preached more than one Esther sermon) and thought about how God consistently chooses unlikely people and how yeah, sometimes we may end up in places not realizing what lies ahead of us, and we might find ourselves in situations thinking we are in no way equipped, but God is with us and God will be faithful.
I have a tendency to take lunch at my desk -- hi I am a control-freak workaholic. But today I made a conscious decision to eat lunch outside in the sunshine (and work on my sermon). \o/
Scattered thunderstorms were predicted, but it was a bright sunny warm day to have lunch outside. Shortly before my workday ended, I heard thunder and looked out the window and hey, rain. Which was even more like a summer thunderstorm because when I left the office less than a half an hour later it had stopped. And it was still hoodie-wrapped-around-my-waist temperatures.
It was so nice out I almost didn't want to go inside a cafe for Laura Ruth's open office hours.
Significantly way through the time I'd been hanging out at her table (Al and Cindy and later Kathy were also there), she asked me, "How are you?" and I said, "I'm better than I was earlier this week," and I got instant concerned-face -- which actually threw me (I think because I'd sort of wanted to tell her last night and hadn't really had opportunity to -- before service, she asked me and Keith collectively how we were, and Keith answered and we got off on various topics, and it's hard for me to bring up an amorphous poor mood because there isn't anything specific to say about it or to ask for).
I said I'd been grumpy over the weekend and that I suspected some of that was grieving -- "I had lunch with you on Friday, and that was lovely, but it was also wrapping things up because you're leaving" -- and on Monday I was cranky and each day I had a new word for how I was feeling, but I wasn't quite sure why
I was feeling, and this morning when I left my house and felt kinda like I wanted to cry I thought, "Okay, so it's grief?" I also said it might be hormonal. She talked about menstrual amnesia. I feel like I don't necessarily get emotionally wonky around my cycle -- but my cycle is also so irregular that I dunno. But the fact that tonight I feel like all this grump and cranky has been lifted from me does lend credence to the hormonal thing. (Also, heh, look at me up past my bedtime and still energized -- as opposed to last night when I was tired like when I got home from church; and I did go to bed in time to get 8 hours of sleep last night even with getting up at 5:30am for morning prayer this morning.)
When we wrapped ~7 tonight, Laura Ruth offered to drive me home (possibly in part because of the light rain), and I said yes (hello maximizing time before she leaves).
We passed CAUMC with all its scaffolding and I said I keep forgetting to ask Sean what's up with that and I said I wondered if it was part of the Terms of Sale or something. I said the building sale was finalized, and she expressed surprise, and I talked about that a little and I said that meant we definitely had to be living somewhere else come July 1, which would also be when we started with our new pastor, and, "Do you care who our new pastor is? Do you know who our new pastor is?"
She said, "Yeah, I know, Nizzi..." and I said, "No, she's our interim appointment. We found out who our new pastor effective July 1 is." I said that when I had lifted up as Joy in Prayers of the People last night, that's what I was talking about. I said I was surprised she hadn't asked me who our new pastor was -- I mean, I know she's leaving Somerville and so it's not directly relevant to her, but still. She said she thought I was saying that Nizzi was finally coming and she was like, "I thought she'd already been here but okay."
So I told her who our new appointment is. She busted out in excitement. She said that was so "fucking" great. I was really pleased at her excitement. And glad that I got to tell her, and tell her in a context where she could be overflowing with excitement.
We both recalled the story LR told me one of the Thursdays before Holy Week about Lisa facebook messaging her to say, "I hear you're leaving Somerville..." and Lisa said Marla had told her, and LR was like, "Who's Marla?" and I told her Marla's one of the lay leaders at CWM but I didn't know how she
knew though I guess I had raised it up at prayertime or something. Yes, this story is literally one of the first things I thought of when Rob announced Lisa's appointment on Sunday.
I told her most of the stuff I said in that first block of text in my LJ post
-- about Lisa and Annie and Nizzi, about transition and relationship and etc. She said she thinks I'm good at building relationships -- that she's seen me do it.
During office hours, she said she's cried twice today because of saying goodbye to people.
Before service last night, she was like dancing
excited -- "I got a job!" Tonight she said she doesn't really feel yet that she's going
[to somewhere] -- that she's keenly aware that she's leaving
[here/us]. I'm glad that she has three weeks in between ending at First Church and starting at Hope Central. She said early on tonight that she was really only starting to get her wits back about her yesterday and today. The weekend was just so intense. She wrote so many sermons for Sunday and none of them worked and Sunday morning she had three sentences and that's what she preached off of and that was so scary. And there were so many meetings on Sunday. And they voted on her unanimously.
She said she had lunch with First Churchers in JP today. I love how many different specific and general venues for saying goodbye FCS has. (LR's last re/New is this Sunday, and folks are going out for a beer afterward. The Saturday night before her last Sunday, there's some sort of party at the church -- there was to be a meeting about this after church last Sunday, but I was at Scott's birthday brunch.)
Somewhere else in conversation, she asked me if I'd gotten the invitation to the queer women of First Church event tomorrow night and I was like, "Uh ... no?" So she forwarded it to me. Touro Ave. in Medford. Which is totes walkable from my place. \o/
Oh, and LR said something she learned in Al-Anon is that "dreading is a form of control."