Monday, April 09, 2012
Recovering from a busy couple of weeks - I'm still in my jammies at 11 in the morning, doing some odds'n'ends of work and avoiding any big projects.
Yesterday was glorious. We had a total of 260 souls at our Easter services (Vigil plus two yesterday). The church was packed for the 10:30 main service. Every acolyte (I think there were 17) participated, so we had two crucifers, a liturgical kite, banners, four torches, a gospel-bearer, plus some helpers. Chancel choir and bell choir. A family which just suffered a grievous loss this week came, perhaps to provide some Easter joy for the grandkids, perhaps to feel the warmth of hope in the room. Some strangers, some very occasional visitors. Some folks who are always there, happy to see the ones who only come occasionally. Beautiful babies, lively kiddos. A fun children's message, courtesy of Teri P ("Who Rolled the Stone?") and good reception for the rather - ahem - unusual Easter homily, which took people into thermodynamics for a bit.
But the sweetest moment was after it was all over. One parishioner, who hadn't come for several years and is now back again, was sitting on the church porch, waiting for her ride to pull the car up, and said, "I'm glad I'm back. It didn't always feel good before, but now I like the feeling in this place. I won't leave again."
I like the feeling in the place, too. Hopeful and joyful and wanting to help others.
Now if they'd ALL only come to church every Sunday and not only on the big feast days...
Humorous moment of the morning:
As I said, I'm still in my jammies, although I'm about to get dressed to go visit the aforementioned grieving family. The doorbell rang. I didn't spring up to answer it, being in my jammies. It rang again. What to do? So I got up, threw on my raincoat, the only modest thing nearby, and answered. Two lovely Jehovah's Witness ladies, looking to talk to me about Christ. I said fairly early on that I was an Episcopal priest, and knew Jesus pretty well - that didn't sink in, so a couple of sentences later I said I was clergy and was familiar with the Witnesses and wished them God's blessing. It took a few more gentle exchanges to let them know I wasn't converting to their denomination anytime soon. They seemed surprised that Episcopalians can quote Holy Writ with the best of them...I invited them to my parish, but I'd be surprised to see them there anytime soon.
God does have a sense of humor.