Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I made a late start on the day because I turned on the television and was instantly transfixed by the run-up to the inauguration.
Nonetheless...written most of the Annual Report, not ever a favourite chore, but the bulk of it is done; I have one chapter of a book to read for an evening course I'm teaching in two hours (!!!) -- I like my material to be FRESH, I keep telling myself -- and about 15 phone calls to make about a meeting tomorrow.
After that meeting the week should, should, could, MAY slack off just a little bit.

Sunday was a glory day. I need to post this. As one of Kipling's characters said, "I gloat! Hear me!" I returned to Other Beautiful Church In Town,where for four years I had been curate/Clergy Assistant. I was deaconed and priested while I was there, after a very long process that several times took me out to the edge of despair and even, like Wiley Coyote, a little beyond.

Other Beautiful C.I.T. is celebrating its centennial this year (I helped celebrate the 90th anniversary while I was there), and is inviting back all the "extant" former clergy to preach. Sunday was my turn. I didn't realize I was "opening the ball," but I did. New clergy, but at least half the parish were folks I had known.

Got there early (they kick off at eight, about half an hour before MH&U, so I was anxious about over-sleeping)...and the first person through the front doors behind me was the kind of dapper, elderly, reserved, taciturn gentleman who is the mainstay of an early service. Not a crony or a buddy-buddy of min during my time there; but his first words to me were, "Well, welcome HOME." And that just kicked off a 5 hour kissy-fest.

It was a joy and a grace to be able to preach on "call" and on the unexpected things that other people contribute to "putting the call through"...I told stories about how members of the parish had stick-handled me out of my Utter Ineptitude as a curate ...and they laughed and they cried and they shook their heads and then they like to hugged me to death.

And I wondered, by the time I tottered away to my car with a cheque in my pocket and my arms full of flowers -- what if I could carry this BELOVED state of mind back into the purlieus of MH&U? What would happen if I ministered in this "midst" like a loved daughter, instead of like somebody dodging sniper fire?

And answer came there none. Not yet.


Terri said...

while you dodge sniper fire I keep getting hit with schrapnel....and, wouldn't it be lovely to be in the midst of a compassionate community?

Crimson Rambler said...

well the reality is that we ARE in the midst of compassionate communities, I do believe, but we, or at least I, react to those in the community who are not.

I am haunted by the passage in "Leaving Church" where BB Taylor talks about realizing, AFTER resignation, that there were scads of intelligent, kind, friendly, right-minded folks in her parish and she'd never had time to say more than howdy-do to them because she was so preoccupied with the toxicity and tantrums and acting-out and CRAP... I hear what you're dealing with, I do, I do, and I keep you in my prayers.

Kathryn said...

Reading this is making me smile all over again...I am SO glad you had that dose of affirmation and love. As to your question, well, I guess there's maybe just the one way to find out...and it might well be challenging, to put it mildly.
hugs and prayers and much joy in your Sunday xx