[I wrote this yesterday, but didn’t have my ethernet cable with me…]
The church isn’t empty. It’s just huge, and with it’s incredible vastness, it’s easy to think that it’s empty when only a handful of people are mucking about, doing their work. Cleaning, creating, readying for an audit, and me, orienting myself in my first day in ‘the office’.
And lest you think I’m goofing off at the office (and on the first day there, too!), this is part of my reflection – needed, necessary, and encouraged by my rector – about this place. Not terribly shocking, is it, that I should use my lj as one of many places to reflect?
I had my first day already. It started, as many of you know, at a coffee shop at the very reasonable morning hour of 9:30, where my rector (read: Boss) and I chatted about his vision of my first few months, and we talked about long and short range goals. And everyone that passed us by on the sidewalk waved and called out his name. “Didn’t you know?” he asked. “I’m the mayor of Delaware Ave,” he laughed. He laughed, but I think it might be true.
We drove around the neighborhood, talked about the neighbors, talked about politics and grassroots organizing, talked about the best restaurant in the area (Rue Franklin, in case you wanted to know), talked about the Church and the church, and what place God might have eked out of all of it.
We walked around the church. Walked through the services that I’d help with the next day. We climbed up to the non-tower and walked through the bat-shit (I kid you not), and I tried not to drool over the castoffs that would have an antique dealer doing mental calculations. We walked through the basement/undercroft/crypt and as we passed through each section of the campus I reported on what I smelled. My rector apparently has no sense of smell. None. That’s what he says, and it’s a damn shame, I’ve got to tell you, because Trinity has a cacophony of smells, some subtle, some strong, some that release endorphins, some that trigger the gag reflex… And I’ll grant you that I have a better than average sense of smell, but I still say it’s a damn shame that Cam can’t participate in any of it.
Then I went home and moved. That’s an ongoing experience worthy of a completely separate entry.
Then I had my first Sunday. In my line of business, this is quite a big thing, having a first Sunday at a place. I was the deacon of the mass and the gospeller at both morning services, and I lurked at the seven pm, greeting people at the door.
Now, a word about services at Trinity…
For those of you who care/know, this might be interesting. Summer really does mean change here. Albs? We don’t need no stinking albs. I wore black dress pants, my grey/white clergy shirt and my green stole to the morning services. That was it. Cam wore a (tasteful) Hawaiian shirt + stole. Virginia Low Church ain’t got nothing on us.
The early service was Rite II, with a fragile earth, our island home thrown in for reasons that eluded the rector. But then again, I was also listed as the celebrant in two weeks time, which is about as factually incorrect as you can get. Anyway. It was fun.
The later service was in the courtyard, which was fun (and dry, though rain threatened), and at no point in time did I actually have to put on the sunglasses that I had on my head. And then during the final hymn I cleared off the altar completely and the two sextons brought out this gigantic chocolate cake with chocolate frosting that said “Welcome to Trinity, Sarah”, and I was very happy.
And then I had lunch at a parishioner’s house with most of my rector’s family. It had its extremely funny parts, and on the whole was quite the learning experience.
And then I unpacked boxes. (Actually, after every major event in the past two days, just please add, “And then I unpacked boxes.”)
And then there was the 7pm service. The not overtly Christian service. It was good. I lurked.
And then, today. Did some orienteering. Wrote some poetry. Met with some people, and arranged further meetings. Moved some furniture. Prayed. Remembered some people’s names correctly (major, major happy). My office isn’t quite done, but that’s not a big problem. My computer isn’t quite here, but that’s okay, too, because the church is here, and there is plenty, plenty, plenty for me to do.
There’s so much that goes on in this place, it boggles the mind. I don’t have my head around the half of it. Still, I’m so thrilled I’m here. I’m in awe that I’m here.
People, I have landed my dream job.