My friend Pat works in an institution back east as artist, visionary, chaplain. As I write this, I realize I don’t know what her actual job title is. It doesn’t matter. You’ll get a good sense of it and her in the following paragraphs. It’s been my great privilege and joy to have known Pat for over a decade. We’ve never met in person . . . such is the internet so magical at bringing people together, but not physically.
Pat invited us to one of their services. (It’s one of the very few we’ve been invited to attend this year — I don’t know what that says about us, or the project, or our friends, or the general state of the church . . . I’ll have to noodle on it).
She knew, of course, that we’re not likely to make it back east to be there in person, so she “took” us “to” it. Here’s the invitation:
I invite you to come to our church.
I believe it would be a mite different
but you’re welcome to be different, too.
We begin whenever everyone gets there.
Yes, there is a set time but you never know if a bus will breakdown,
there is a fire drill, or the sound system goes cafluey.
When we do begin, we begin with sign.
It is a sign for Advent, really.
We open our arms and gesture, “Come, Creator God…be here with us.”
There are very few words in our worship.
Most people can’t talk.
But, we do have music and the good news is told through music.
There is an Offertory but no money is collected.
Instead, everyone offers a thumbprint put to paper.
They give themselves as they have no money.
Then we have a procession.
This is really Prayers of the Faithful.
Everyone, those who can walk,
those in wheelchairs,
those with walkers carry the names
of people who have asked for prayers,
those who have not,
and our country, our world, our cosmos.
We pray for one another when we finally bless each other
and say good-bye till the next time.
She added this, in the original note to a group of women that is our original point of meeting. I include it here, in case you, dear reader, have an idea I can pass on to her (or she can read here).
I’m trying to figure out how those who understand about Eucharist
can actually participate when they are not able to eat regular food.
This has bothered me since I began this ministry.
There are so many who “get it”
but are fed internally and cannot even drink water.
Everything is with a tube.
Maybe you have an idea how best to do this.
There’s got to be a way.
Would Jesus invite all to the table
and then skew it so that 10% of all the people who know him
can’t be part of the wedding feast?
I suspect he wouldn’t.