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MAPTP: More Random "Dots"

This coming Sunday represents the end of my third of eight weeks in the Mid-Atlantic internship at St. Mark's, Alexandria.  This time seems to be flying by, and I am so happy and blessed to be there.  What a great clergy team, a wonderful parish, and an extraordinary opportunity to see and experience more of full-time ministry.  Here are some more random observations:    

  • The graveside committal was just me.  At the point of 'earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust,' there was no soil readily available, so the funeral home attendant pulled two flowers from the arrangement that had adorned the casket.  It led to a beautiful moment as family and friends passed flowers around from other arrangements so all could cast something into the vault after the casket had been lowered. I learned Hispanic customs are such to remain present for those final moments: we witnessed the 'stripping of the gravesite', the movement of sealer and topsoil by the backhoe, and the placement of flowers and temporary marker.  It was my honor to see such reverence and devotion.
  • Sharing the Daily Office now includes, besides me and the rector, the associate priest and sometimes the parish administrator.  A lovely way to begin our day in community.
  • Community lunches continue, but include working lunches out with clergy colleagues and parishioners.
  • Meeting more and more local clergy from other churches/denominations at the early Wednesday breakfast gathering.
  • Hearing a lot about CREDO, which serves pension plan participants in the Episcopal Church.  It promotes clergy and lay leader health: physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial.  The framework works around the tenets of Identity, Discernment, Practice, and Transformation.
  • Pastoral calls continue, with almost daily hospital visits for one parishioner.  Expect that when clergy team takes youth mission team to Puerto Rico next week I'll be making home communion visits myself.
  • Preached first homily at the military retirement community, then a full sermon twice on Trinity last Sunday; have another cycle of Wed. homily, Sunday sermons, and Wed. homily coming up in the next two weeks.  Yikes!!  
  • Before the 1st homily, the associate visited to check in and pray for me - a true gift of ministry from her! 
  • I've seen several Grace Church friends along The Way as I make visits.  More and more, I realize our big Church is far more intimate than we give it credit.  During Region Clericus luncheon, I saw several clergy I knew or had met recently.
  • Finally remembered Mondays are casual dress.  Shorts, polo, tennies - Nice!
  • Will share the African Model of Reflection Bible Study method with the retirement home group next week; the Morehouse Education Resource: "Living the Good News" from Church Publishing (which is excellent!) does not carry on through the summer.  
  • A suggestion I'd made to save costs was tested out, but later abandoned after a parishioner 'poo-poo'd' the idea.  No worries; it's a difference of opinion.  Fortunately there was little expense involved.  I am quietly stepping away from the matter to let others do as they will.
  • I made up some business cards to give parishioners or pass to other clergy.  Kinda fun.
  • I likes the 1st meeting of our MAPTP peer group (like Colloquy @ seminary) with my fellow diocesan postulants. 
  • A bit tardy with my Ember Day Letter to my Bishop, but there was so much to share while doing plenty now.
  • My DC Field Ed supervisor notified me he'll be on vacation/sabbatical when I return in September; that's fine, but I did think to ask if I'll be preaching or teaching Bible Study in his absence.
Okay, that's enough for now.  It's officially my day off, and I should begin to act 'as if' I'm off.  Caio' for now.