Monday, September 18, 2006

A tiara and the breaking of bread

This past Sunday, we had our first Youth Eucharist of the program year. After being swept away by the number of people who showed up last week for the first Sunday of Church School, I was expecting a bit of a dip...But I was wrong. YE is our most progressive liturgy here at Trinity. The service is held during the 9:15 morning worship time in our Chapel. The formula is simple. We have a band that plays (contemporary music), worship is in the round, the setting is relatively informal, we have a youth preacher as well as a "paper bag" sermon offered by the clergy (more on that later) and at communion, we offer each other the bread and wine. Top that off with inclusive language and you have a better idea of what we do.

Still, this is one of those "you have to be there to see it" experiences. In our original sacred space, we set up over 100 chairs. The band fills the old choir/chancel apse and we often nowadays have people filling the doors, out on the lawns and sitting on the floor. So many people came on Sunday that I had a "complaint" that we were exceeding the capacity of the room. "Amen," I said.

It looks like we will have to move the service into the Parish Hall next month. That is the only place that is both safe and flexible enough for our use.

The other thing that invigorates me is the number of new families inquiring about the Church. From young to old, from single to partnered to multi-child families, Trinity seems to be in the midst of another growth spurt. Now, I realize that is the way it ALWAYS is at the beginning of program year. People start up in the fall with school, sports, etc. Still, I appreciate the energy flowing in to the Church.

And some of that energy is down right funny.

I was the priest presider at the YE, and I was the one who got the paper bag sermon. So, little Julia Cullen came up with her dad and brought me...A tiara. A beautiful princess tiara. This, on a Sunday when we ponder with Jesus his question to the disciples: "Who do men say that the Son of Man is?"

Link those two, place your response in a post-paid envelope and send it to the Church. Winning essay is the best tie in!

Me, I told a story I heard of a blues/soul singer who met the Queen of England once upon a time. She did the one unpardonable thing: she reached out and touched the monarch--something that IS NOT DONE!

In doing so, she got a personal response from the Queen, "You know, when I was a girl, your music was my music." The thing this singer remembered was how stiffly the queen moved. After hearing that, her imagining was not that the queen was stiff--rather that she had to hold herself straight up in order to keep those jewels on her head. In reaching out to touch that person, that singer was able to break through the barrier of the tiara...And recognize that it is no small thing to carry all those jewels on your head.

No wonder Jesus may have experienced some dis-ease when told by Simon Peter that the unspoken, to this point, assumption of the disciples would be that he was the Messiah.

Uneasy the head that wears the crown...

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