Monday, July 12, 2010

Sunday's Post

The bishop came up to our church yesterday (Sunday) evening, in all his glory and finery, and officially "installed" our new priest.  It was an impressive service, and really very moving.  He has been with us since early May, and after all my worrying about what sort of a priest we would get, I really think we got a winner.  If only he chanted the liturgy, he would be perfect.  Which is too much to ask, so I am very pleased that he is now installed (Katie was worried about this, as she know that he has a family that sometimes needs him to be home, but I explained that the procedure still allows for some mobility.) and would have to go through all sorts of rigamarole if he decided he didn't like us.

My favorite part of the service was when the priest's wife, who is a Methodist (United?) minister, gave the sermon.  Her central theme, taken from a reading by Anne Lamott, and related to the Gospel reading from John 15: 9-16, was how we are loved and chosen.  It was very good.  But the bit that I thought, "I'll have to tell that to my mom," was the joke, credited to Garrison Keillor, that she started with. Here it is, as well as I remember...

A man died, and he went to Heaven.  He met St. Peter, and started telling him how very pleased he was to be there.  But then he said, "I have to ask... What would it have been like if I hadn't made it?"
   "Well," said St. Peter, "Let me show you." 
    St. Peter took him to a long tunnel, and they started walking down it.  As they passed one of the doors along the tunnel, the man heard terrible weeping and wailing, and he said to St. Peter, "I hate to ask, but who is behind that door, and what did they do?"
    St. Peter said, "Those are the Baptists who were caught dancing."
    They kept going, and they passed another door behind which the man could hear terrible weeping and wailing.  "St. Peter, I hate to ask, but can you tell me who is behind that door, and what did they do?"
     "Certainly," said St. Peter.  "Those are the Catholics who were caught eating meat on  Friday."
     They kept going, and finally came to the last door, behind which the man could hear terrible weeping and wailing.  "St. Peter, the man said, "Who is behind that door and What did they do?"
      "Those," said St. Peter, "are the Episcopalians who were caught eating their salads with their dessert forks!"

After the service we had a very grand sit-down dinner, and Ed tells me that everyone was very careful to eat their salads with the correct fork.   I was in the kitchen all night, first serving up food, then washing dishes, and I don't think fork rules apply if you eat your dinner standing up.  We did get plenty of wine in the kitchen, though, and it was friendly and fun in an "I'm glad I don't do this sort of thing often" kind of way.

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