Monday, January 24, 2011

Pardon me boys....

We have spent today wandering from place to place in Chattanooga, finishing up at St. Paul's for the first of the three regional walkabout sessions.  We began the day with a visit to Christ Church, a beautiful church with a really good organ.  The treat was that the organist was there and playing when we arrived.  We convinced her to play Praise to the Lord and we all sang lustily.  It is a good acoustical space.  We heard from several members about the Christian Ed program and the beginnings of their discernment process for the next priest, their former rector having just retired.

Then it was back in the big white vans and off to St. Martin's of Tours.  This church has done some adding on in the last several years, expanding the nave and building space to house a pre-school.  The kids were in class so it was really fun to watch them.  The people were most welcoming and happy to tell us about their congregation.  It sounds like a good group of people.  In the entry, there is a board that listed all the newcomers, those who have recently gotten married and all of those serving in the military.  I wondered where we would put something like that at St. Christopher's.

Back again to the vans and across the Chickamauga Dam to St. Peter's.  We had a tour of the school (nursery to 5th grade), the nave and then were served a really good lunch.  I plan to get the recipe for the portabelo mushroom pasta!  One of the interesting things about St. Peter's is that the sanctuary is on the second floor.  It is a bright space full of natural light.  Over the door are two paintings done by a Russian artist of two scenes from St. Peter's life.  Fascinating!

After a few hours rest - yes, I did take a nap - we went down the street to St. Paul's where the staff, led by Donald Fishburne, did a marvelous job of taking care of us all, keeping us on time and providing us with a lovely evening service.  We began the service with a Taize chant as everyone entered and then joined in.  It really set the tone and opened us up to being quiet and listening for the Spirit.  The nominees all did brief - 3 minutes or less - presentations that helped us know what we might want to ask in the break out sessions.

And now we have eaten dinner, lingered over coffee and dessert for more good conversation, and begun packing for tomorrow's trip to Knoxville.  So it is time to turn out the lights and say our prayers.  Thank you all for yours!

No comments: