June 16th, 2010

gay patron saint, gay tantric sex

I led most of worship tonight, and I kind of liked it.

Keith's away this week, so Jason D. (one of the Community Ministers) was there instead.  He was really grateful I was there because he didn't know where anything was and he had also just realized that he wasn't sure how much he had committed to doing besides just giving the Reflection (he doesn't usually attend Rest and Bread).  I said I'd do all the setup no problem (I even microwaved the bread, which I'd never done before) and we divvied up the bulletin.  He asked me to lead the Prayers of the People and I agreed, even though that's usually the one thing I request not to do (the only thing I'm actually incapable of doing is leading music -- though technically I did do that at morning prayer last week -- but I always request not to do Prayers of the People) -- I articulated my reluctance when he asked, but we agreed that I felt better about doing it than he did.

So, he did the Welcome and Call to Worship; I led us in the unison praying aloud of the Psalm; he read the Sacred Text and gave his Reflection and invited the congregation to reflect; I wrapped up reflection time and moved us into Prayers of the People, led us through the three moments of prayer, led us in the Confession and then Assured us of Grace; he led the Passing of the Peace; we did Communion together (which I kind of led); I led us in the unison Thanksgiving at the end and then moved us into the Closing Hymn; he gave the Blessing and Benediction; I gave the Announcements (and did a bunch of cleanup).

There were various moments that did not go exactly as they were scripted, but I wasn't really bothered by that -- Laura Ruth would be so glad.  "You're gentler on yourself and on those around you."

Doing the Prayers of the People felt really okay -- which I was pleasantly surprised by.

I didn't feel especially worshipful (I never do), but I was sufficiently present -- and I wasn't stressing about everything having to be perfect ... which is really impressive for me.

(I still maintain that I'm not called to ordained ministry, but I am glad to be growing.)


I signed myself up as a "potentially interested" in leading one of the small groups at FCS this summer, and in email conversation today Ari said, "I kind of want to volunteer you to lead Discernment because you would do it RIGHT."  And she wasn't being ironic.

Did I mention that this morning I emailed FCS-Ian the "lectionary" readings from last Thursday and he replied, "Thank you very much.  And, thank you for leading the service. You really are a blessing."


Jason D's Reflection tonight was on the "become like children" bit from Matthew, and he suggested that we need to acknowledge, recognize, forgive, and love the people we have been -- in order to be whole and integrated who we have been, who we are, and who we are becoming.

Carolyn and I talked about humility afterward (numerous congregants articulated a hesitancy at "humility" being a child-like trait) and she pointed out children's willingness to admit that they don't know something -- to ask their parents with complete faith that their parents will know the answer.  We middle-class white folk who have had lots of Western education tend to think that we know everything ourselves, that we don't need anyone else's assistance and/or that no one else possibly has anything we could learn from them (I'm certainly guilty of that -- though obviously not in all contexts).


Carolyn was late to service for a variety of reasons, so she came in during the communal reflection time.  She commented to me afterward that she'd gotten there in time for prayers and Communion -- the "meat and potatoes" of the service.  I laughed -- because my instinct with church still tends to be to prioritize the sermon.  She said that prayers and Communion are where we interface with God -- that the sermon is thinking time, and maybe it's because for the 3 years of seminary she basically thought about God all the time, but the interfacing with God part is really important to her.