All in all, we rubbed through the Annual General Meeting, Part One (finances), pretty smoothly, on Sunday last. The Financial Forecast (=Budget) passed without unnecessary cavilling. The cobras pretty much stayed coiled in their baskets.
But this will be remembered as the AGM of the Pew Cushions. One of our laywomen has thought, not without reason, that we might do well to provide some cushions for those who cannot bear 90 minutes of our pews (which are highly varnished ancient oaken mediaeval torture-engines, handsome but agonizing). We are not proposing to UPHOLSTER the pews. Just provide some modest seat cushions. Not even enough cushions to fill ALL the pews. Just, "some."
So Cushionwoman was determined that the AGM should consider the question, or questions, of pew cushions (pause to coax eye to stop twitching). And on the whole this is not essentially a bad idea, we weren't going to pass any binding motions, just get a sense of the thinking of the parish, "for" or "against," perhaps take a show-of-hands straw vote. And I'm sure in her mind's eye she was picturing a forest of waving hands, and murmurs of pleasure and appreciation, and cheery voices calling out, "I'll help you with that, call me."
Signal for emergence of cobras from baskets. "Well I'm completely against it"...on the grounds that if we had seat cushions (we HAVE, in fact, a few already) there would be nowhere to store them (um, on the pews, possibly?) and people wouldn't use them, because people didn't need them, because people don't use the ones we've got (um, well, they DO, that is when YOU personally haven't secreted them on an inaccessibly high shelf) and... I confess I was entirely poised at that moment, listening intently for the magic cadenza, "and if we have seat cushions I'M LEAVING THE CHURCH"... but no such luck, not THAT easy. Then there were the other comments of the "why don't we do something entirely different" kind..."we should just bring our own cushions from home" and "why don't we have lumbar support cushions instead" and so on and so forth, until we were mercifully released from the maelstrom of stupid by the parishioner who raised what amounted to "Point of BOOOOOOORING, Madam Chair" -- and if it's not in Roberts' Rules of Order, or Bourinot, it jolly well ought to be.
On the good news side...we seem to have surrounded a pair of altar candlesticks of dignified dimensions. Used, and in great need of polish...but! We approach their introduction into the worship space much more slyly...we'll sort of SLIDE them in, while the wrangle over pew cushions has everybody distracted.
There were seven congregants this morning at 7:30, still dark but much milder than a week ago, for the imposition of ashes...
and may you all have a most holy and blessed Lent, too.