The Lord’s Day: Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
- A very full day: On the road with Brenda at 6:30am, arriving at Trinity, Mt Vernon a little past 9:00. Laid out my vestments, assembled my crozier, and otherwise get set up for the liturgy.
- At 9:30 there was a forum in the parish hall. It only took one question to get me going on various aspects of the missional challenge in central Illinois in the early 21st century. It was a robust discussion, and, on the whole, I am very encouraged by people’s receptivity to my message that it behooves us, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to invent a whole new way of “doing church” than anything we know about or are good at.
- The Mass of the day, with two confirmations, was at 10:30. Then followed the coffee hour with a proper cake for the confirmands, and a congregational serenade for YFNB with original lyrics set to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. You had to be there.
- Around 1:00, people from all over the Eastern Deanery began to arrive, and we were treated to grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and assorted other goodies that were carried in. In due course, Dean Gene Tucker (doesn’t that have a ring to it?) called the annual pre-synod meeting to order. After hearing reports from each of the Eucharistic Communities of the Deanery (save for Effingham, which was not represented), and transacting some pro forma business, I once again held forth on generally the same subject matter that had occupied the earlier parish forum. It felt like people were extraordinarily engaged, and for a fair length of time. I was simultaneously drained and energized.
- Then I had a pre-arranged visit of about 30 minutes with a cleric seeking pastoral counsel. So it was a few minutes past 4pm when we were back on the highway for the two-and-a-half hour drive back to Springfield. Some days I feel like I earn my keep. This was one of them.