It doesn't seem possible but we're heading into the downhill stretch for another weekend. This one went fast. That quick trip to "the Summit" and back took a big bite of it, especially when you throw in the six hours windshield time, three of which were done in the nasty blusteries of Friday on the way up. The meeting itself was a good gathering. The event is an annual meeting of those of us who serve in what we call "Total Ministry." It's also called Mutual or Team ministry in some other places. We are all small churches who cannot afford to call full time clergy, so there is either a part-time "traditional" (seminary-trained) person augmented by a team made up of locally trained ordained and commissioned folks or just the local team, as there is at our place. Our team has six members, three priests and three people who are commissioned to serve specific roles on the team. While our training was all done locally, our ordinations are just like any other priest's. The only difference is that we are licensed only to serve our local church and can't go search a call to a new place. So at this meeting all the teams from all the TM churches get a chance to get together and brag on ourselves a bit as well as talk about what we are up against, what we'd like some help with from the Diocese, and just be with the folks who do what we do. Kind of a combination family reunion, once a year support group and pep rally! Our diocese has been at this now for almost twenty years, so we have teams that are in the "third generation" as well as teams that are just being born. It's very cool for the new folks to hear from the vets and very inspiring for those who are slogging along to see the enthusiasm of those who are about to be ordained and commissioned.
We talked a lot this year about using technology to communicate and how you don't have to see people face to face to be in community with them. This seems to be a hard concept for some people. Obviously they are not bloggers! We are starting a posting group in the hopes that people will begin connecting that way. I talked about RevGals, especially since so many of us serve churches that are physically very isolated.
The weather did get a little better, but not until right before we left, so once again, there was no grounds viewing. There was shopping though! The gift shop was opened for us, and I found a stunning prayer shawl. It was sitting right inside the entrance and almost begged me to take it home. The sisters did well by our group overall, I'd say. We are shoppers! The drive home was much nicer, and was livened up by a detour to see a potential vacation home that one of my passengers was interested in. Pictures in the paper and the reality bore no resemblance so we drove by and kept going.
Once home, I ran over and picked up Maggie, then her sitter and I went to a high school choir concert. Five high school choirs were represented and all of them were phenomenal. I thought it was interesting that almost all of them chose sacred music selections, several in Latin.
Today of course was church, the choir was back in almost full membership (5 of us!), and we sang a lovely communion anthem. After service we had a quick run through of the piece we will sing for baccalaureate. The son of two of the choir members is the honoree....so we are betting on tears. Then it was downstairs for the MDG meeting to plan how to spend the money we raised during Lent. What fun! We did that in short order, deciding that it made sense in project two to continue to support our community center from project one. We had complete consensus.
This left the rest of my day free to clean the laundry room, including taking the dryer apart and cleaning it(successful) and trying to change a hose on the washer (Not so much...now it's leaking!).
Tomorrow I am off to clergy conference until Wednesday. There is no Internet access at the retreat center, so after noon tomorrow, I will be on enforced blogging silence, unless by some chance someone has a wireless they are into sharing. But again, there won't be a lot of free time. It's another one of those short and busy events....about thirty-six hours with a whole lot packed into it. The theme is renewal, and there will be a renewal of our ordination vows with the Bishop. The last clergy conference one was very heady....I'm hoping for more spiritual focus given the theme. I could use a little jump start on my spiritual batteries, they are running a little low.