I hoved down to St. Boniface on Siesta Key yesterday for the 10:00 a.m. Eucharist. This is where I warm a pew when I am not assisting in other congregations.
I always sit with Adrian and Anno Swain. Anno is a volunteer at Resurrection House. Adrian used to do this too, until a stroke incapacitated him. It’s good to have a “regular” pew with good people alongside one.
St. Boniface is a singing congregation, so I can boom out my baritone harmonies without getting stared at!
The Rector, Ted Copeland preached a sermon which was “over the top”. He reflected on what had happened at St. B’s 7 years ago on the first Sunday after 9/11. He asked us to think about what “might have happened” if our nation had engaged in a period of reflection and forgiveness, and not rushed to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It was a courageous sermon, delivered with great grace. After service I said “you are alright Ted”. He replied “not everyone thinks so”. So I countered with “but I do, and that’s all that matters!”
(During the announcement time he touched briefly on the “mind the gap” campaign at St. B’s, the “gap” being a budget shortfall. He said that the last part of “mind the gap” would be when he writes a “really drippy Christmas letter”. I guffawed, with a sound that echoed around the Church.)
I was driving on air, with my gas tank all but empty. So I had to get gas, and noted that prices had risen by 30 cents a gallon overnight – all, or so they say, because of Hurricane Ike.
Sunday afternoon is often my “get on the ‘phone to friends” time. So I had a good chat with brother Martyn and his wife Wendy. They had just hosted ex-Pittsfield parishioners Randy (Sr.) and Randy (Jr.) Telfer for lunch.
Randy Jr. is 18 years old and is spending a pre-college semester in a New York University programme in London. He’s been a bit lonely, so his dad flew over to England for a long weekend. The Bristol Poveys and the Telfers had a great visit.
This was in keeping with a good tradition. Over the years Martyn and Wendy have hosted four young American students who had been parishioners of mine when they studied in England.
Then a long chat with Joe and Deanne Rokowski in Granby, MA. Joe is one of those students who had trekked down to Bristol. I assisted at Joe and Dee’s wedding some years ago, and we remain good friends. They joined the Episcopal Church a few years ago, and attend All Saints’ Church in South Hadley, MA
Joe mentioned that they were going back to Church Sunday evening for a pot-luck supper to greet their new Interim Rector. He said that her name was “Maureen” or “Noreen”.
“Would it be Noreen Suriner” I asked. “That’s it” said Joe. Noreen and I have been friends and colleagues since 1975.
The Episcopal Church is small, with far fewer than six degrees of separation!