Today was our final 10 a.m. service on the land. Next week we return (temporarily, I hope) to our 4 p.m. service time. But next Sunday will be different from all other Sundays. At 4 p.m., we will have our annual Ingathering service with a Water Ceremony, music by the kids, and a welcome back to folks we haven't seen much this summer. This service will be shorter than usual; I won't offer much of a homily, in an effort to finish by 4:45 p.m. BECAUSE at 5 p.m., we will have a public celebratory service to kick off our building project!
We have been planning this for weeks. I have sent invitations to our district legislators, our district executive and program consultant, my district colleagues, my local colleagues, the mayors of nearby towns, local activists, and the South Whidbey Record. Six of them have been asked to speak briefly, bringing well wishes and greetings from the groups they represent. Our youth will light the chalice, I'll speak about what it means to have a home of our own, and we will conclude with a rousing march to "When the saints go marching in". We'll end up in a circle and I'll say grace and then we will tuck into large amounts of roast salmon, salad, and other side dishes, plus beverages.
Today after the service, several of us did a little skulling about how to arrange tables, chairs, the firepit, the banners, the mic, and all the logistical details that we need to address. We are so excited! This building is really going to happen! For all of the years I've been here (4), we have been slowly moving toward this moment. We are going to have a home of our own, perhaps as soon as next spring.
I'll let you know how it goes.