The Eucharistic ministers are literally a "pick up team" - they sign up to help 45 minutes before each service. Except Sunday. You have to have signed up by Friday in order to serve on Sunday.
And yet, the Eucharist started right on time and ended in plenty of time for people to have a cuppa joe, catch up with and meet other people, and then get to the legislative committee hearings.
Mind you, there were THOUSANDS of people in the room. I don't know how they do it.
The Presiding Bishop preached. You can find her sermon here which was a meditation on three activists: Walter Rauschenbusch, Washington Gladden, and Jacob Riis.
Perhaps picking up on the tensions and the tempers that are already palpable (I think the oppressive heat and LONG walks make it worse), she closed with these words:
"We have opportunities here in abundance to forswear those evils, to lay down our various weapons of division, and to work together for the commonweal of God’s created world. Is our faith lively enough to do works toward that kind of abundant life?"The music was scrumptiously delicious. There was this one piece I had never heard before: "Now is the cool of the day" - words and music by Jean Ritchie and sung by Mary Ann Hart, mezzo soprano; Christine Buras, soprano; Arwen Myers, soprano; and Daniel Lentz, baritone.
The words are like this:
My Lord, he said unto me: Do you like my garden so fair?
You may live in this garden if you keep the grasses green.The other verses are about how the Lord says that we can live in the garden if we 'keep the waters clean' and 'feed my lambs'. The inference, of course, is that we do none of these things which is why Jesus has not yet returned.
And I'll return in the cool of the day.
Now is the cool of the day,
Now is the cool of the day,
O this earth is a garden, the garden of my Lord;
And He walks in His garden
In the cool of the day.
Of course, there weren't no "cool of the day" today. Temperatures were predicted to reach 103 but they actually soared to 104.5 in parts of the city. In a word: It was AWFUL. Jesus is not walking in the garden today. If He's smart, he'll have another proper G&T with his feet up and fan on.
I am not as smart as Jesus. You may have noticed. I was stepping off a curb and twisted my ankle. My bad ankle, of course. The one that's already weak. It was pretty badly swollen but I think that was due mostly to the heat. I put some ice on it and kept it up most of the afternoon. I started watching the House of Deputies proceedings on live stream but I think the Ibuprofen kicked in and I fell asleep. I'll get the skinny on what went down when I meet up with some folks for dinner.
I've got some work to do for Issues - the daily publication of The Consultation - so I'll be busy tonight. With my foot up. And an ice pack on. And a prayer in my heart that this sucker heals well enough tonight to not slow me up too badly in the morning.
My sense is that there is a lot of anxiety in this place. Oh, people are still in the 'meet and greet' and 'Big Phat Anglican Family Reunion" phase of things. It's like we're all waiting for the first shoe to drop. Resolutions are still being filed as we speak. There are small groups of solemn faced people seen in corners here and there surrounded by some pretty intense energy.
PB&F (Program, Budget and Finance) doesn't have another open meeting until tomorrow at 7:30. It's all very controlled and contained and calm.