Thursday, February 16, 2006

Moving through the in between

In ministry, there are a few weeks out of the year upon which a quiet falls.

Sometimes, that is the work of the weather. For instance, last weekend we had a true blizzard. Something for the record books in that Bucks got a blast of snow like I haven't seen in years. Looking back, and appreciating weather on the East coast for what it is, I am reminded of some of the big nor'easters we got in the nineties when I was in seminary and later in Rhode Island. Lots of wind. Lots of snow/rain/precipitation. Lots of, well, weather.

This weekend was no exception. It started on Saturday when I was heading home from the office. Just the lightest of flurries. By midnight it was going like gangbusters.

In the morning, when we woke up, it was already drifted up to two feet on the back deck. I got out of bed at 5:30 to start shoveling, to see if we were going to be able to even get out of the driveway. Sophie, our dog, was subjected to the ignominy of NOT being able to go out into the back yard for her morning constitutional before her breakfast. The only place where the snow was shallow enough for her to pass was just outside the front door, beneath our beleaguered Asian plum tree. She did enjoy the walk later on. That dog loves snow. The whole world is the same color as she is, and I think that gives her comfort.

It took me forty minutes to shovel one car path from garage to street...Something like 25 feet. I was able to strike a deal with the plow guy for our development. Told him I was a priest and would need to get my car out soon to go to church. Must have been a good, church-going kid, because he refrained from the usual (and, I am convinced, slightly sadistic) thing plow guys do when they come along the plow in the driveway that you have JUST cleared.

After we got some breakfast and had cleaned up, we hit the road. Not too bad really...Actually, it really was bad. There was near white-out on 413 down to the main highway to the church-Route 202. En route, I canceled Sunday school. It took us almost a half hour to drive a ten minute commute.

Upside, the church was warm. The few human souls that ventured out found a church that was warm and ready for worship, and a priest and his faithful and patient wife with snow boots on good to go for services. One other couple came for the early service, thank God for four wheel drive. Then, we had a rush on the main---twelve for that liturgy. Then, for the later service, 5...And remember to discount the services for the fact that Laura and I were both present for all three.

It was a blessed day, quiet. We watched the snow come down outside. We wondered how we were going to dig the car out of the snow bank it had hung up in when we entered the church lot (easy enough--some salt and time with a shovel, a rock forward and back and it was fine). We drank coffee...And we heard the organ sound for the first time in a liturgy!

I guess that was the truly big news of the weekend...And it took me this long to get there!

Even just marginally voiced, and only just barely in tune, the organ sounded great. Just a couple of stops were "open" but the sound was enough for us to hear a quick Bach prelude and then we were able to sing some hymns.

Other than that, it has been a relatively quiet week. I was able to get some time away from the office to take Laura and gift and have lunch with her on Valentine's Day. We have been working on a revamp of the Church's website, hopefully creating a series of pages that can be updated by volunteers out of the parish office. There is a book discussion today and for the next couple of weeks on John Sanford, The Kingdom Within.

This coming weekend is a treat. We have the Gospel Choir of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas coming to worship with us. Gonna be a heck of a party. Then, later on, a concert and Peacemeal.

Amen. Time for some coffee before the next meeting.

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