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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I bought Jesus at an Auction and slept with him last night: A Clergy Retreat Update

Last night was more fun than was absolutely necessary.

We had dinner together and then reconvened upstairs for the Talent Show/Auction segment of the evening's festivities. I must admit, I went only half-heartedly. I mean, clergy? In a Talent Show? I had visions of really bad guitar playing accompanying a Camp Song sing-a-long.

Then again, in the Diocese of Newark, "camp song" means something entirely different.

So, I went.

However, our clergy sister Megan did eat her vegetables, which is documented evidence of something akin to a miracle. I'll be writing the authorization letter to the Vatican later on this week.

The Auction didn't hold much more promise. We had all been encouraged to donate our 'Christian tchotchke' - some of which was part of the silent auction at dinner, and the others, like the Bust of Jesus above, were auctioned off before the Talent Show.

I'm still not over the fact that my clergy sister Stephanie outbid me on the plastic tote bag with crosses all over it. It came with a small purse attached - just right for carrying a Home Communion kit. It was perfect! Communion wafers could easily be stored in the small attached purse. And, it was water resistant. I mean, really! They just don't make things like that anymore.

Deep sigh. Steph said I could come and visit it once in a while. Maybe I'll have another chance at it next year.

I did have my eye on the Jesus Bust all through dinner. I don't know why. I just couldn't stop looking at Him. There was something about His eyes. So sad. Pathetic, really, especially with that 'holly and ivy' crown of thorns.

Some of the clergy boys had kept Him company for a while, but, beer-drinking-boys being clergy boys, they left Him there, all alone, with empty beer bottles.

I couldn't stand it one minute longer. I, like Veronica, went to wipe the tears from His eyes. He was crying blood, you know. He even had this annoying yellow goober near His nose. I tried to tell Him all about the Resurrection, but He just seemed to be stuck in a permanent Good Friday kinda funk.

Megan even left her vegetables and had a little "sit-down-come-to-Jesus" chat with Him, but alas, to no avail. As you can see, even she started to get a case of the Good Friday kinda funk.

I knew, right then and there, that I had to have Him. Because I love Him, I love Him, I love Him, and where He goes I'll follow, I'll follow . . .

Erm . . . Sorry. That was part of the Talent Show. I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Bishop and his staff opened the program by singing a rousing and inspiring rendition of "There's a hole in the budget, dear bishop, dear bishop."

The props were a bit lame, but well . . . there's a hole in the budget.

I don't know about anybody else, but I know I went home with much more confidence about our Stewardship Program at St. Paul's.

However, the Programmatic "Reese's Pieces" (pardon my French), came when a group that called themselves 'The Jersey Girls' took the floor with a choreographed rendition of The Jersey Boy's "Big Girls Don't Cry"

They absolutely ROCKED DA HOUSE! Which is why the picture is a bit blurry. Those girls can really shake a tail feather, if you know what I mean!

Ah, me of little faith! I had no idea what a talented group of lip-syncing clergy we have in this diocese! See what I mean about 'camp songs'?

Well, once you are on the slippery slope of "Clergy Talent", there's no where else to go but further down.

The Auction was an unmitigated hoot 'n a half. The Jesus Bust was up first and, after some sluggish bidding, I got him for $35.

I know, right? You can't get that on E-Bay. No way, no how!

I did miss out on one of my clergy brother's generous offering of himself to come into your home and read you a Bed Time Story. I started the bidding at fifty-five cents, but was amazed that someone actually paid $50 for it.

I also missed out on dinner for four in one of the finer rectories in the diocese, which included being serenaded by one of our clergy brothers with a very fine voice. That went for $200.

When the final tally came in, we had raised close to $2,000 for the Millennium Development Goals. We also raised the roof. I don't think that Resort will ever be the same (Thanks be to God!).

But I, I came home with Jesus. Brought Him right up to my room and tucked Him into the twin bed next to mine. Did you know that He snores? I didn't either. Loud. REALLY loud. And, he sleeps with his eyes open. I must admit, that creeped me out.

But He's mine now. All mine.

I love Him, I love Him, I love Him, and where He goes I'll follow, I'll follow, I'll follow, , , , , Oh, wait. You, too, can sing (or lip-sync) along with the pro's.


Caminante said...

That bust definitely belongs in the pantheon of horrid religious schlock.

Brother David said...

I love those two Sister Act movies.

I am glad you are enjoying the retreat.

Fran said...

Wow, that that is some great Christian swag you got yourself there!!

Although that communion kit thing was pretty cool.

You all look like you are having the most fabulous time! Loved reading every word of this.

Muthah+ said...

Wow, your clergy conference has more Spirit than ours!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Caminante - Tell me where that pantheon of horrid religious scholck is. If I get another really horrid Jesus schlock, maybe the one I've got would stop being quite so sad.

The retreat ended at noon, Dahveed. I'm looking forward to next year.

It has been a great deal of fun, Fran. Retreats always get better with sleep deprivation.

And, Muthah, you will remember that this retreat got of to a slow start. And, last year's wasn't any think like this one. Far from deadly, as some have been in past years, but clearly not as lively as this one.

But, I must say, I think the real difference is leadership. +Mark likes to have fun as much as the rest of us. The leader really does set the tone for the rest of the system.

emmy said...

Ah ha! So that's what you all do after you are ordained!

And what's up with the auctions? Is this an Episcopalian thing??

VTcrone said...

Just don't put the "Jeez-us" bust in the freezer, or Ms. Conroy will never forgive you!

the cajun said...

My grandparents had a similar bust of Jesus predominately displayed on the Altar in their bedroom right beside a statue of St. Theresa (with eyes on a dish) and both freaked me out. My grandfather was a Mason and we all know what that means to the Vatican. So they had their own altar at home.
Enjoy your Holly Jesus.

RFSJ said...

The pic of you comforting Jesus is priceless Thanks for recording all this!

I'm only sad my offer to sing Evensong only went for $25....


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Emmy - no, it's not an Episcopal thing to have Auctions. It's just very smart.

VTCrone - Jesus has found a new home at the end of my coffee table. No freezer for this one. Pictures in the morning.

Cajun, sugar, I KNOW from Christian tchotcha. Trust me. I just can't wait for my mother's staute of St. Theresa. And, it's St. Lucy with the eyes on the plate, honey. St. Lucy. Google her. She's soooooo gross.

RFSJ - you know, it's just hard to get good help these days, or to have the good help appreciated.

Hey, it was $25 well spent.

I did wake up with this thought in my head: All the men I've ever truly loved have either been married, celibate, gay or dead.

Hmm . . . .

JCF said...

Y'all know about my EWTN vice?

Well, last Holy Week, they had on a week-long "retreat" series, w/ an Irish priest (I mean, an Irish priest IN Ireland---actually, Northern Ireland, IIRC---as opposed to all the Irish priests worldwide! But I digress...)

Anyway, at one point on this Irish priest's show, they showed THE most drecky, most icky, most pornographic Crucifix EVER! :-0

[Maybe based upon "The Passion of the Christ"? Praise the Lord, never saw it!]

Every square inch of bare skin on the corpus, was painted like a barber-pole, w/ swirling blood. I couldn't freakin' believe, the schloctastic craptabulous of it. Eeeeeeyewwwww! >:-p

Jim said...

I keep looking at that head and thinking it looks like Peter O'Toole as Henry II in Becket. Paint the wreath gold to make a crown and Jesus was king of England! (Given some of the odd folk lore in Britain they probably think he was anyway.)




Paul (A.) said...

Cajun, I thought it was St. Lucy with the eyeballs in a dish. There's a charming statue of her in an RC church in Montclair I sang in a couple of times some years ago.

it's margaret said...

Your clergy retreat looks far superior to any other!

And if Jesus snores, you might want to check and see if he has some kinda problem, and might need one of those sleeping machines or something. --or perhaps he just has a piece of bread stuck in his throat...

he is so very cool. good buy! congratulations!

Frair John said...

Princeton Seminary has a "tacky jesus" wall on campus.
That first pic should go up on it.

I do love the religious shlock though.

Unknown said...

I inherited a statue of the Sacred Heart from my grandmother. I had tucked it away in a closet for safe-keeping. A friend found it and buried Jesus under frozen peas and broccoli in my freezer. Pretty much pulled a muscle laughing when Jesus' poked his head out!


the cajun said...

Yes, How could I forget it was St. Lucy? Willful thinking I suppose.
I'm glad your mother didn't have a statue of her, too.
Novenas notwithstanding, I dreaded spending time before that altar.