Mother Laura writes: "Can you believe Daylight Savings Time is here already? It's hard to get used to the new, earlier onset. My family has been getting up and out a little late and a little sleepy in the mornings. And can you believe that in two days it will be Palm Sunday for Western Christians? Our Lent is almost over, while our Orthodox sisters and brothers, whose liturgical year follows the older Julian calendar, are just starting theirs. Nicholas did a recent book report on George Washington, and we were surprised to find out that our first President's birthday was originally Feb. 11, since he was born just before the change to the Gregorian calendar. Apparently the change almost caused rioting, as some indignant people were sure that they were being cheated out of eleven days of their lives! To help you adjust--and enjoy the process--here's a Friday Five about time and transitions...."
1. If you could travel to any historical time period, which would it be, and why? I love the forties! The time just after World War II The clothes, the music, the energy as the country was focusing back at home and putting new technology to work. I think it would have been an interesting time to be around.
2. What futuristic/science fiction development would you most like to see? I have a tie. That little machine on Star Trek that beamed people around would be the best! Living in the hinters and having to go to diocesan and other meetings that are always 1-3 hours from here, that would be so sweet, just "pop" and I'm there, and "pop" and I'm back. The other thing would be to able to be two places at once....to somehow be able to divide my molecules or something so that my full presence could totally attend that meeting there and be at this event here at one and the same time!
3. Which do you enjoy more: remembering the past, or dreaming for the future? I enjoy both of them, but being in this moment is really pretty wonderful most of the time, too. And I think we miss a lot of the gifts of the present doing too much of one or the other of the other two.
4. What do you find most memorable about this year's Lent? It's all been pretty memorable. Offer God the chance to work on you in terms of trust and submission and just see what happens! I have really enjoyed having a "second church home" as I have been spending a fair amount of time hanging out with my friends the Presbyterians. An informal brown bag scripture reading and discussion over lunch once a week, an evening intergenerational exploration of all different kinds of ways to pray from dance to journaling to walking to prayer beads to breath to art, a very small weekly gathering of people supporting each other in their Lenten spiritual disciplines through prayer and accountability. My own church's MDG project with our "Soup and Story" lunches and my role as Storyteller for the Diocese in this project has also been a big part of my Lent. My own life story in this particular chapter as it unfolds and relating to finding God's will and trusting God to lead me through the challenges and changes to come in all of that has been a big part of this Lent as well. All in all I think it is the Lentiest Lent I have ever had.
5. How will you spend your time during this upcoming Holy Week? What part do you look forward to most? It will be pretty focused. Monday night is our final MDG meeting, Tuesday is our church Book Club, Wednesday is choir practice for Easter. Thursday we will have a traditional Maundy Thursday Service, Eucharist ending with the Litany and then the stripping of the altar. Good Friday we have a very powerful Stations of the Cross. it is focused around the MDGs. Our organist has written a very powerful organ accompaniment that he does each year. At one point he makes the organ hiss, at another it moans...it makes my hair stand on end. On Saturday at noon we have a small prayer service after morning choir practice. Then Sunday of course....well....It's EASTER! I am celebrating and preaching this year. It will be my second Easter doing so, and I feel very blessed. No baptisms or extras this year...but a very beautiful liturgy, choir anthem. And this year will be special as we will celebrate the success of our MDG project...we met (actually exceeded) our goal of 50% of our congregation pledging 0.7% to the MDGs. (This after already completing one project last year!) So we will celebrate not only the Resurrection but the joy of generous hearts in our little church on Easter morning.
I look forward to it all. The submersion in the whole story, the readings, the ritual, the silence, the waiting, the blasting forth again of Alleluias, the joy on Easter morning. I love it all!