Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Who knows where the time goes...

I know I have posted on this theme - and this song - before but it is becoming a theme in my life:  who knows where the time goes?  This past weekend I was blessed with another full, demanding and creative 72 hours.  Sunday worship was mellow, intimate, fun and meaningful.  Afterward, while two dear friends shared their "Retro Coffee Hour" - think many things coated in lime jello - 25 of us slipped out and headed down to Connecticut for the ordination of a daughter of the church.

Rebecca Floyd - born, baptized, confirmed and held "in discernment" at First Church of Christ in Pittsfield - was ordained into full-time Christian ministry in her new church home on Sunday, June 9 @ 4 pm.  I had the honor and privilege of both leading the ordination ceremony and then saying: In the name of Jesus Christ, the head of the church, I declare you to be ordained into the ministry of Christ Jesus our Lord.  

It was a rich and full time of worship with a bag piper, a gospel choir, preaching from the ordinand's father (and my predecessor at First Church) and Eucharist.  There was a reception and finally a dinner for about 100 that brought the night to a close at about 10 pm!
Heading home the next day, I kept thinking of how close we have all become over the past six years. I was ordained in the Fairfield West Association of the United Church of Christ 31 years ago, too!  And just to make the "circle unbroken" I was driving home to spend the evening and next day with my Sunday School teacher from my high school days:  Malcolm Bell.  We have been friends since 1968 - and he and his wife Nancy were coming to spend the night to discuss my "spirituality of rock and roll doctoral dissertation."

It was a holy and sweet time together after way too long apart.  We went to our local tapas bar - and heard some of my friends play jazz - and then talked into the night (and the next morning) about my "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" master work.  It was an important critique and I have a few new ideas about how to make it ready for prime time.

After they departed late this morning, I got a chance to write this week's sermon on one of my favorite texts:  the woman who broke an alabaster jar of perfumed oil on the feet of Jesus.  (I will post that tomorrow.) And all day I have been simultaneously grieving the attacks of friends and allies in Istanbul, Turkey - rejoicing for a renewed connection with Malcolm and Nancy - celebrating the goodness of God in the call to ministry of Rebecca - and praying for two friends from church who just received news of a diagnosis of MS:  ALL in one weekend!
Who knows where the time goes:  my oldest daughter is 2/3 through her first pregnancy, we all leave for the Montreal Jazz Festival in two weeks and I am starting to construct the broad outline of my sabbatical program for 2015.  Life is so good - so hard - and so full...


Phil Ewing said...

Thanks so much for these two versions RJ. It is one of my all time favourite songs, especially Kate Rusby who is new to me- It's fantastic and I'm posting it on my blog !! Sandy Denny's version used to be my constant play in my teens and way beyond and time has not made me weary of listening to it.
Prayers too for Turkey. The friendships you forged there via your music must make it especially hard for you at this time.

RJ said...

So glad you like these versions: I, too, lived on Sandy Denny's version but also Judy Collins as well. I think Kate Rusby is incredible and just appreciate Nina Simone. The struggle in Turkey is entering a new phase - for dignity and compassion - and it is in the incubation stage, I sense. So, waiting and loving is all we can do. Thanks so much, Phil! Lots of love to you.

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