Alleluia! Easter has arrived, Lent is over and I can finally return to eating ice cream just when I had convinced myself that mashed up frozen bananas are just as tasty. Actually they are pretty tasty, especially with berries, and I will no doubt keep on eating them because of that. This was a Lenten surprise for me, to find something healthy and tasty and just as good as ice cream.
Another surprise in this Lenten season was Space in the Chapel. The Wednesday night services were peaceful, meditative, prayerful, leading up to the beautiful and dramatic tenebrae service during Holy Week. Space in the Chapel made me mindful of Lent, probably in more meaningful ways than giving up ice cream, which turned out not to be such a sacrifice because of those handy bananas.
Another gratifying surprise were the numbers of people at our Maundy Thursday supper and Easter service. After weeks of dire predictions about poor attendance due to spring break, close to forty people partook of the Agape meal on Thursday, and the church was full on Easter Sunday. I don’t know the Sunday numbers, but lots of people were still coming up to the altar rail well after we finished singing the Communion hymn requiring organist Chris Roe to improvise until everyone was finished.
Thank you to everyone who participated in and helped with Holy Week and Easter Sunday services. From the flame of new fire that started the Easter service to the rousing chords of the closing toccata, it was a truly memorable Easter.
As Junior Warden, I also want to give a personal thanks to the Vestry members who set up, cleaned up, and provided food for the festive coffee hour, where everyone feasted on goodies as the children swirled around in their annual Easter egg quest. And further thanks to Sarah Begor who reminded me just in the knick of time that Easter coffee hour is the vestry’s job – surprise!
In fact there have been a few other surprises for me on the Vestry.
This is my first Warden’s Corner in over ten years and there have been some key changes, especially tech-wise. I just learned how to use a drop box, which is now installed as a cute icon on my tool bar. It allows us to exchange lots of information about church organization and strategic planning.
Also, through the magic of powerpoint, the members of the vestry and several other church leaders are filling out charters that describe their jobs in detail. There are 26 charters, from Altar Guild to Finance. When finished, this will be an invaluable tool when someone steps into a position and asks “What exactly are my responsibilities?” The completed charters will answer that question.
The Vestry has also been busy gathering information for our strategic plan, and once again, technology has been our friend. With the use of the internet and other sources, we are collecting data on demographics, church history, communications, finance, and church trends, to help us figure out who we are now and where we are going.
But technology would be nothing without people and we are so lucky in the people of St. Elisabeth’s who give so generously of their time and talents. In fact, next to technology, the biggest change for me between then and now is the people in charge: back then we had husband and wife co-rectors. Now we have one rector – in France! But we are blessed with a wonderful priest-in-charge who is both great with people and a genuine techno-geek.
By now you probably know that Elizabeth Jameson has been called to be rector of St. Simon’s Arlington Heights. We want to offer her our heartfelt congratulations. Come June, we’ll have a bang-up celebration for her that will probably involve ice cream and frozen bananas. Meanwhile, we are so grateful and happy to avail ourselves of her considerable skills in leading our parish. We have done so much already – and I for one am looking forward to a continued season of surprise.