Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Big Weekend

I woke up early this morning, about quarter to five, even though the cats were quiet and not yet insistent that it was breakfast time. And as I lay there wondering if I could go back to sleep for the half hour or so more that I normally need, the excitement of this weekend began to build up in me and eventually I decided to get up, feed the cats, and get started on this big weekend.

I haven't said much about it yet, but Sunday afternoon we are dedicating our new building in a bang-up ceremony that includes visiting dignitaries from the PNW district, local county commissioners and even the mayor of Langley. I feel very honored that several pastors from the lectionary group will attend; I invited one of them to bring greetings from the group during the service and he consulted the others yesterday about what he should say. I was thrilled.

Our dedication speaker will be Gini Courter, moderator of the UUA board who conducts the business sessions at General Assembly AND my real friend, not just on Facebook. Lest this sound incredibly pedantic, to have a moderator and purveyor of Roberts Rules as our speaker, I assure you that Gini is a wonderful, lively, engaging speaker, and I suspect her sermon will knock our socks off.

The planning that has gone into this dedication service has been extensive and yet I'm sure we will encounter some bobbles in the execution of the plan. That's just the way things go. A wise colleague once said to me, as I was contemplating ministry, "Expect three things to go wrong in any given worship service; that's just the way it is. Continue to be a non-anxious presence." Or something like that. It gave me hope then and gives me hope now.

What I am really hoping for, in this building dedication service, is that my congregation, my dear, dear friends in UUism on Whidbey Island (and they are my friends, in a very special kind of way), will see themselves as part of a larger movement, with responsibilities and opportunities that are unique to our setting, our community culture, and that we have support and encouragement from many sources. I hope they see how important this is, as a community of faith, to celebrate together with many others, to proclaim to many others the ideals and promise of Unitarian Universalism.

I hope we have standing room only. I hope folks are dazzled by the array of vestments and flowers and music and people who crowd the room, who process down the aisle to the strains of "For All the Saints" and recess at the end to "Forward Through the Ages". I hope they take seriously the meaning of the hymn "Let Nothing Evil Cross This Door". I hope they love Gini's wonderful humor and piercing message. I hope they come away with a sense of purpose and community that is so firmly entrenched that it never leaves them.

And one more thing. We got our final occupancy permit just last week. We were sweating it.


LinguistFriend said...

I am sure that it will be a very memorable occasion, and you seem to have prepared well and systematically, so that it will be a positive occasion (having my gall bladder out after the problem had been misdiagnosed was also memorable). I hope that you have also prepared something to occupy you after the event is over and the other people go home. You seem better able to deal with getting what you want than many people. Congratulations on reaching this memorable point.

Berrysmom said...

This sounds fabulous! I wish for you a wonderful, happy, celebratory weekend that you and your folks will remember for years. It's a BIG deal the build and dedicate your own building, and it deserves a huge celebration. You go girl!

Gini is a fabulous speaker. My congregation celebrated Association Sunday in a cluster with five other congregations (about 700 in attendance) and Gini was the preacher. We all wanted to take preaching lessons from her.

Soak it in, and tell us all about it later!

ms. kitty said...

Thanks, LF, for your kind words, and I do hope it's memorable in a better way than a gall bladderectomy. Our ministers' retreat is coming up shortly thereafter, so I think the letdown will be shortlived.

And Berrysmom, I so appreciate your perspective. You know how important this kind of thing is to a congregation AND you also can vouch for Gini's excellence as a speaker.

Thanks to both of you.

Kari said...

Blessings to you and the dear congregation you serve!

ms. kitty said...

Thanks, Kari! Come on up and process with us!

Tina T-P said...

Hi Kit - your service has been on our itinerary since The Shepherd found out about it at PNWD, but alas, our plans have been abandoned - you have been upstaged by a pregnant sheep!

Having already lost one set of twins this spring, he is taking no chances on this little gal - she is humoungous and starting to have little sheepy elbows poking out the sides of her tummy. Hopefully she will have her lambs safely, we're just nervous because she's a first time mom.

Nan & Richard and a couple of other members will be there to represent FCU - Gini is a fantastic speaker and we are sorry to miss her. Here's wishing you a WONDERFUL day and hope that everything goes as planned. :-)
XOX from everyone here on the farm

ms. kitty said...

Thanks, Tina. I was looking forward to seeing you both, but I agree that the birthing of twins takes precedence, even though it is Gini!