Well, it's been kind of a fun day in the Interim Ministry department. A lovely long confab with Marvelous Deacon filled the late morning hour...then Lunch and Lectionary with M Deacon and Fab Traveling Companion over Solomon, and the Temple, and the power of incense to knock clergy on their backs, and the status of "furriners'" prayers, and the whole armour of God, and the ever-lovin' bread of life YET AGAIN, and "Who you gonna call?" and all like that, all interspersed with munching on our own Desperately Healthy lunches.
Oh and during lunch -- phone calls. St. Curious Too has more dang-nab phones -- land lines -- on the premises than any church I've ever entered. So far I haven't found any phones in the washrooms, but EVERYWHERE else. In consequence I had a fine conversation with a Victim Services lady in Herring-Choker Province, where they are fixing to incarcerate a young man found in possession of items stolen from the premises of St. Curious Too, back when (before my time). Would we like to fill out a VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT prior to his sentencing? So that has come, by email. And then a call from a young man in search of a baptismal certificate.
Fortunately, I was able to tell him that it was on my desk and will be in the mail within 24 hours. He and I had had previous conversations about the Catch-22 situation he was facing, and we with him: "We can't issue you a certificate because we do not have the baptismal register under our eye. Nor can you be re-baptized, because we know you were baptized. But we do not know that in a form or to a degree which permits us to issue a certificate. But you can't be re-baptized, because" and a-la-main left, and around we go again.
About the fourth circuit of the problem I bethought me of the old Book of Common Prayer, with its wise and pragmatic and pastoral provision for when the circumstances of a prior baptism are not clear enough to satisfy the priest. Not its only liturgical recognition that STUFF HAPPENS, and the stuff that HAS happened, is quite likely to happen again, so let us have a nifty little ceremony, here, just to cover that eventuality.
The Book of Alternative Services sounds pretty raw by comparison -- coming out of an era when I guess we were still somewhat convinced that "nothing could go wrong go wrong go wrong go wrong go wrong" because we were all so clever and right-minded...
As it turned out, the Archives of Prairie Province had the register in question, and produced us a splendid document attesting to what is in the record, so our young man should be able to stand up and godfather his Roman Catholic friend's baby, and all's well all around.
And then, finally, a home communion visit with healing prayer for the couple who are filling my life with vegetables, after the manner of retired Prairie farmers of Slavic heritage.
Tomorrow -- day off -- will be a perfect ORGY of sugar, salt, vinegar, and Mason jars. About six kinds of pickles, and chili sauce.