The Bishop is Coming!

20 Dec

Easier said than done, sometimes. Keep Calm

Yesterday, about a half dozen of us from the Altar Guild met at church in the morning and did as much as we could to make the place look festive for the bishop, and still not break the tradition of not decorating the church before Christmas.

We also made swags to be hung from the sconces and roping for here and there, and laid them outside the back door, in the cool air, ready to put up as soon as the coast was clear.

Blazer didn’t get to go, because one of our members is simply terrified of dogs.  I called home before I left the church, to ask if anything needed to be picked up at the store. Since I was not in the house, when The Squire answered the phone, Blazer came into the den, presumably to see if I was calling him. The Squire turned around and told him, “That was Momma. She’s coming home”, and the poor dog immediately raced to the back door and sat there, expectantly, staring at the doorknob. Silly mutt.

Our Altar Guild chair is not any older than I am, but she has numerous health problems and her husband is very ill. I don’t know how she keeps going, I really don’t. She was running the vacuum cleaner around the altar and had to stop and lean against it to catch her breath, she was wheezing so badly. We finally chased her out of the building with a broom, and she was still too ill to come to church this morning. She did show up after the bishop had left, “ready to work”, she said, but we all agreed that we will meet on Tuesday at 4:30 to do what needs to be done.

She had been training somebody else to take over for her, but that person moved away, so we’re back to square one. I used to be head of the Altar Guild, back in the 80s, but somehow I can’t see M+ offering me the job.

So – Bishop Sutton baptized one adult, and confirmed or received five people, including the aforementioned adult. Not bad for such a small parish. Bishop Sutton is a delight. Fantastic sense of humor, and uses it to make his point. He spoke about the word “Behold”, which is not in any of the new translations of the Bible, nor is it used in Rite II. Either the word “see” is substituted, or the thing is ignored completely. This really diminishes the importance of what is being said. The angel told the shepherds, “Behold! I bring you glad tidings”, which is a lot more impressive than “See, this is what happened in Bethlehem”.

There was a couple in the back of the church who had come for the sake of the one of the confirmands and he, at least, was down-home Baptist. It took him a little while to realize that while Episcopalians do laugh in church (especially when Sutton is the celebrant), we don’t generally shout “Preach it, brother”!

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