this is no longer my blog

Sunday, November 21, 2004


if i close my eyes, the clowns will eat me

I was channel surfing this evening and I ran across a Cirque Du Soleil special. And I think I can safely say thanks to the Cirque I have a greater idea of what it must be like to be on an acid trip. Flashing lights. Swirling colors. People singing in unknown tongues. Brightly clad people flipping and spinning all over. Small children being tossed around. And what seemed like a clown mafia. Not sure if that would classify as a bad trip or not... Definitely interesting.
And I admit that I have a fear of heights, but even watching these two women do these dangerous stunts on a swing high in the air gave me that feeling in my stomach that I can get when I'm somewhere precarious. There was one point where one woman was sitting on the swing, and the other woman was hanging from her leg and the only parts of their bodies that were touching each other was one foot per piece. And there was not net! There were no harnesses! They were SWINGING! At least 25 feet in the air! Those french-canadians are kind of kooky.

I also thought you weekend wouldn't be complete without a list of the blunders that were commited this weekend. Saturday evening service was good. I don't remember any blunders that evening. But Sunday morning I woke up much later than I would like. I was in a rush most of the morning. When I'm rushing I tend to forget minor details like the wall/ceiling at the bottom of the stairway is low. I didn't remember that until I went barreling down the stairs to rush out the door to church and ran full force with my head into the ceiling. I'm sure it made a nice noise, but the stars flashing in my eyes distracted me. I think it affected my vision for some time, too, because the 8am service was blurry. So I'm sitting in my throne while Supervising is giving announcements when I come to the sudden realization that I have ONCE AGAIN forgotten my microphone. I silently swear, because shouting the "f-word" would be deemed extremely inappropriate at this juncture. So I quickly scan over the bulletin and try to find a good time to quickly escape out the back door, down the stairs, across the basement, up the stairs, and into the library/changing room to retrieve my microphone. The best time is during the first lesson. So after the announcements, confession, kyrie (luckily we did the Kyrie out of the With One Voice hymnal and when we do that we have "guest cantors" so I didn't have to do it) and the hymn of praise. So when the woman comes forward to read the lesson I stand up and quickly escape out the back door. I figure it's through the sacristy so people might just think that I'm getting something out of there (Oh, there's a blunder I forgot. On the Saturday service we forgot to move the usual book or worship and replace it with the With One Voice book of worship,so during the hymn of praise I had to take the green worship book and march into the sacristy and grab the WOV worship book). So I quickly run down the stairs, across the basement, up the stairs and into the library/changing room and grab my microphone and get it set up as I run out the door, down the stairs, across the basement and back up the stairs and make it into my throne before the end of the first lesson. I was proud of myself. So that was the last major blunder for that service.
The contemporary 10:30 service was a whole other deal. Both Supervising and I sing in the worship band. We usually have what we call "cheat sheets" on our music stands that have some of the parts of worship that are not in the bulletin but are on the big screen like the greeting, the confession and a few other things. I notice right before we were ready to start that we didn't have cheat sheets. Normally they are on the top of the keyboard which is right in front of the singers, so I walk down and look a the stacks of papers on the keyboard and not a one contains the cheat sheets. So I ask the keyboard player if she knew where they were. She said she didn't bring them with the rest of the stuff. (why not?!?!? she should know we need them!!!) So I go up to Supervising and say they are not there and keyboard player does not know where they are. He tells me to go check in the back. I run to the narthex and look all over. I check in the library/changing room. They are not there. I look all over. They are nowhere to be found. The worship band has begun singing already. I walk back up to the front and tell Supervising I could not find them. He shrugs. As he's getting ready to go out front to do announcements he tells me to check the top of the keyboard again. So I do. Keyboard player still doesn't know where they are. Worship band leader does not know where they are. I run back to the narthex again and look all over. Still no clue. So we decide that we are going to have to move to where we can see the screen. Supervising's idea is that we should move to the front of the congregation area so that we can turn around and see the screen. I remind him that I have to do the cross action with my hand during the greeting, so it wouldn't make much sense to do all of that business with my back to the congregation. So he says he'll go forward, I'll go backward. So after the opening song he goes down the stairs, I go up the stairs to behind the altar and I have to read all of my business backwards. Like if it were in a mirror. That is HARD! So things are going fine until it's time for the kids who took the first communion class recently to come up and receive first communion. So they are invited up with their families, and the kids get to use communion cups that they've decorated and Supervising reminds the adults that they will be communing by intinction. Okay, not everyone knows what intinction is (in case you are one of those, intinction is when you commune by dipping the wafer or bread into the chalice of wine or grape juice). I go to the very first lady (a grandma of one of the first communicants) and she still has her wafer. Right when I get up there with the chalices of wine and grape juice she pops it into her mouth. I look at her. She tells me she has no idea what she's doing. I tell her to hold on. I grab an extra wafer off of Supervising's tray and hand it to her. Just dip! I say. She does. I get to the next person, the son-in-law of the first woman and father of the communicant. He is a regular church attender. He knows that we usually commune through intinction. He has already eaten his wafer, but he is holding his newborn baby so he tells me just to keep going. His wife still have her wafer and she dips it. Well done. The next woman has already eaten her wafer. I get her another one. The next man has already eaten his wafer. He doesn't want a new one. The next man dips. The next woman has already eaten her wafer. She doesn't want a new one. The next woman dips. At least FOUR other people did not have wafers, they had already eaten them. I saw one woman put the wafer in her mouth and then take it back out. I ask her if she wants a new wafer. She says no she's fine. I'm glad she didn't try to dip it. And you know, I think all of this could have been solved by saying "The children will commune with their decorated cups. The adults will commune by intinction, which is dipping the wafer in the chalice of choice." A little more explanation, but oh well. And normally those participating in communion distribution commune first. This time we communed the first communers first. So I'm confused and before I've communed, and as the other communion assistants are coming up, I walk back down and join the band. Then the band goes to get in line for communion. I figure since I haven't had communion that I'd go down there and line up with them. As I'm standing in line I see supervising get confused because I'm not there to give him the wafer and say "Body of Christ, given for you" which is my normal role. So he almost forgets to do it, but then gives the tray to one of the assistants and she gives him the wafer. So I apologize to him as I receive my wafer when I go through the line. Then as I'm standing up with the band someone comes and grabs me and says they're having trouble with the computer, the power point has frozen or something like that. I say I have no idea, but I'll come and look at it. So I look at the computer, which is run by a parishionier sitting in the pew. Not only has the Power Point frozen up, but it has completely closed and I am looking at the desk top of the computer. I say I have no idea, but Supervising has just finished communion, I will go tell him. So I tell him, he tells me that I have to do the post-communion blessing and all that stuff, so he runs to check out the computer. I ask the congregation to rise for the post communion blessing and then I say "And now may the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace." Then I look at the screen and I see that the prayer the congregation says after communion is actually called the post communion blessing, so THEN i say "Let us say together the post-communion blessing" and I think I heard chuckles. Could be paranoia. So we say the post communion blessing. Then we go down to sing the closing songs, and in the bulletin it says we're singing "Oh Lord our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth" and then "Soon and Very Soon" in that order. So that is how I set up the slide show. The worship leader has it arranged with "Soon and Very Soon" first. So the computer runner has to skip through the song I put first, granted it was only one slide, and gets to "Soon and Very Soon" so we sing that. Next comes "How Majestic is Your Name" or whatever it's title is which was before "Soon and Very Soon" but the computer runner advances to the next frame which is the benediction. So I make eye contact with his wife and mouth "No! Go back!" so she tells him and he backs it up to the right slide. So after the service, after everyone has shook our hands, we go back to the front to collect our stuff and the computer runner says to me "Did you organize the slides?" and I say "No" because I didn't organize a lot of them, but then I say "Oh yeah, I did some of them" so he says "Well the last two songs were in the wrong order" and I think "Am I not the one who told your wife to tell you to back up so we'd be at the right song? But I don't say that. I say "Yeah, I noticed that but the bulletin had them in the other order, and that is the order I used to put the slides in." He says "oh" or something similar.
So there you go. Sometimes I wonder why they keep me around. It doesn't seem like we can get through a service without me looking like a complete dope.
Anyway, my bruised head is sore. So I'm going to stop typing now.

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