Someone at sometime carved the initials R and D into the altar rail. Was it someone giving thanks for prayers answered? Was it someone marking an adolescent love? Was it just a jerk who felt the need to vandalize. Who knows?
Parish weekend is a tradition among many Episcopal churches in Mississippi. However, this was my first parish weekend to attend and it was a blast! I grew up going to Camp Bratton-Green as a youth so being back in that place, as a parent of two, was surreal.
As folks started walking up the aisle to wash feet, the sun started streaming in the west windows of the Chapel, so brightly that their heads started to glow like saints in an ancient manuscript. The sight was ethereal. It was also beautiful and fitting for an evening when, as we pray, eat, sing, and wash, our love for each other is so tangible.
Baptists have revivals. Episcopalians have holy week. A friend and seminary classmate made this comment a few years ago on the verge of holy week and it is very true. Holy week is a revival for Episcopalians. We are close to finding ourselves immersed in a new holy week which affords us new chances and opportunities to again be revived, renewed, and transformed at the Chapel of the Cross.
One of my favorite lecturers in seminary once said to me, “I love to teach, I get paid to go to meetings.” Meetings. The word itself is so … evocative. Meetings can be necessary evils, inspiring collaborations, or infernal slogs. Sometimes they are compulsory information delivery vehicles where a company or parish receives reports from their leadership, and such meetings are necessary for transparency and an informed community. Sometimes meetings provide a space for brainstorming and the creation of ideas, the quality of which could not have been generated by individuals.