Monday, October 09, 2006

What Day Off?

I'm working my way through Leander Keck's "Who is Jesus." Only problem with reading this stretched out on the couch is that I keep dozing off. This may be the sum total of restful activities for this three day weekend.

PH has been down in New Orleans for the past several days, gutting houses in the Lower Ninth Ward with a team from our church. He's coming home tonight, tired and a little sore, but glad to have done the work. I've missed him so much. I can't wait to pick him up at the airport tonight.

I've been doing all the wonderful stuff one does when one is alone for a few days: catching up on laundry, planting a hundred spring bulbs, watching a couple of videos, cooking dinner for two other friends from seminary who are part of our midlife seminarian group (giving them a break from the refectory cuisine), cleaning, problem-solving from afar for StrongOpinions, whose phone gave up the ghost, taking stuff to the recycling center...you get the picture.

For my Field Ed prep class, I went out on my third church visit yesterday, to a corporate-sized church. This category is for churches with over 450 members. The church I visited has 1500 members, with seven services from Sat. night through Sunday evening. Very, very low church, and very conservative. They are going through 40 days of discernment after which they will decide if they are leaving the Episcopal church. From the sermon that was preached, they've already decided they're leaving. The only open question is whether they'll try to affiliate with the Anglican Church in Nigeria, Rwanda, or Uganda, or form something else entirely here in the US. The priest told us that ECUSA is preaching apostasy.

Suffice to say it was rather difficult to sit through.

The Sunday before, we visited a tiny African American church across the river. No magnificent Steiner Renk organ with trumpets en chamade, just a little electric organ that had seen better days. No thirty thousand dollar sound board and awesome praise band, just a rector who could preach with power and joy and a five member choir that got the rest of the parishioners singing, too. No fancy Newcomers' Welcome Center, just parishioners that all wanted to greet us and give us a hug and ask us "are you going to be our seminarian?" No message filled with political rancor, just a sermon that encouraged us to take on the responsibility of all that God calls us to be.

Guess which one I liked better?

4 comments:

Cathy said...

I'm with you on that one!

Makes me sad of the division going on in the church.

Sophia said...

Oh my gosh, the small church sounds wonderful!

Rev Dr Mom said...

I know the large church of which you speak....don't think I could've sat through it. Are you assigned churches to attend?

mibi52 said...

For this class, we're assigned (in teams of four) a rural church, a new plant or mission church, a corporate sized church and a multi-ethnic or ethnic parish. Then we can go to other potential field sites as we narrow down what we're looking for/needing to learn.