other accoutrements of ministry? I unearthed my tattered copy of the grey hymnal and its mates, the teal one and the explanatory one, but I couldn't find the tallow-bedecked porta-chalice which I always use at "away" teaching gigs. "Away" means, of course, not at my home congregation, not using my home congregation's chalice and other worship aids.
But now the Pacific UU Fellowship IS my home congregation and its chalice and candles are upstairs in the sanctuary and awkward to carry down to the fellowship hall, where I will be teaching UU 101 for the first time to this congregation. I hadn't expected to get back into ministry activities so soon, but when six or seven new members showed up and were welcomed in without knowing a lick about Unitarian Universalist history, theology, or anything else, I volunteered to teach the class. And that's today.
I have no idea what has happened to my own set of worship aids, but I suspect that when I packed up for my move last summer, they either were donated to the Whidbey folks or stored so deeply that they just haven't surfaced yet. I wasn't thinking clearly about what I might need in the future. I think I assumed that I would never need them again and so it didn't matter where I left them. Folly!
I couldn't even find my packet of UU101 materials and have had to recreate them from a folder on my laptop which still existed. Luckily, dear Mavis at UUCWI had made jpgs of some of them, so I have a copy of each document we used there. Whew! Thank you, Mavis!
We have ten people signed up for this UU 101 session and I just hope we have enough chili to feed everyone plus any visitor who decides to stay this afternoon. The session will be held right after the worship service, starting with lunch and the sharing of spiritual journeys before we get into the nuts and bolts part of the session.
I am looking forward very much to teaching this class, but it makes me very aware of the danger of stepping on toes when doing things differently from how they've always been done. Fortunately, so far I have managed to walk the tightrope between tradition and innovation and haven't fallen off onto some sacred cow. We'll see how today goes.
The contrast between this tiny fellowship of 30 members and my former congregation of 100+ members is dramatic, but that ancient bugaboo of all institutions remains: a handful of people do all the work.