Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Inside and outside on 9 April 2014

The ancient poinsettia is "blooming" like crazy this year. It is from Christmas 1968.

The daffodils are thinking about blooming. they might see snow again tho.

These croci are at least as old as the poinsettia having been here before I bought the house. I look for them every year.

Looking across the bay at the house.

Turtle heads kept appearing in the green but the whole turtles wouldn't come to the log as long as I was visible.

This turtle stayed just long enough to get in the photo.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

St John's Episcopal Church, Sharon, PA, 6 April 2014

H. Whoops. Can't say that yet. But there is no snow anywhere here. Not even a flurry today. Some very high thin clouds this morning in an otherwise lovely blue sky. Beautiful. Since St Johns is only about half an hour away, I should have gone there on one of those snowy days. Oh, well. 

 Rt 18 is supposed to close temporarily one of these days while they fix the bridge over the Shenango Reservoir. I contemplated going the back way but curiosity got the best of me. To see what was happening I went on down. Came home via the detour to see what it is like. It was very familiar as I used to go that way when they built 18 over the reservoir and I worked in Masury, OH. That was a year or two ago. 

I'd been to St John's on several occasions, most recently for diocesan events. The first was for a concert by the combined choirs of St Johns and First Presbyterian with a few extras. I sang tenor with male clergy and a choir director. We were not well behaved. That was also a year or two ago. Probably in the mid 1960s. 

 I parked in one of the regular spots, not in a visitor spot. Two women passed me but never even looked at me. I've heard that people there are unfriendly. That wasn't a good start. I entered via the double doors to use the bathroom - helpful to have been there before. There is a handy guide on the wall but I left via the same doors to see what I would encounter if I used the red door by the Visitor parking which most visitors probably would.

The church has many red doors in various places. I don't know how many are functional. There is no ramp. (There is an elevator.) This was the closest to the parking lot and I had seen someone else go in there. The door did not go into the church but into a sort of hallway. I had to move someone aside to get in as the choir was milling around. Nobody even looked at me. Fortunately there was a red banner above the entrance to the church. The usher greeted me with a smile as did a woman in a pew at the back. 

I was surprised to see flowers on the altar during Lent. The choir entered quietly from the side. There was a short procession of the clergy to one verse of O Sacred head. I was surprised to see the priest was wearing a cope. I've never seen the eucharist done in a cope before. The church was hot so he must have been really warm. Odd also that he sang the Collect but not the rest of the service. 

They had a very short Peace. Nobody wandered. All around me shook hands in a friendly manner. 

The dozen in the choir sang "Wondrous Love" by William Witherup. Hee. For those of you who don't know, he is the organist/choirmaster at Christ Church Meadville, my home parish. He's an excellent composer, especially for small choirs. His music is published by Selah Publishing.

I understand the theology and the arguments but I don't appreciate the priest's back during the eucharist. I wonder what the disciples would have thought if Jesus had turned his back to them for the last supper. I wish I'd had the camera out to take a photo when the priest had his arms extended. He looked like a bird with his wings opened in the sun.

I was the only person who listened to the Bach postlude. I took some photos then got at the tail end of the line to greet the priest. He said he was surprised to see me. I explained. He said I am always welcome there. He invited me to come back. Then to come back all the time. To sing in the choir. And to get some coffee and goodies. He made me feel welcome. I went to coffee hour to look for the person I know but didn't find her. I was totally ignored. I left.

The white structure above the church in the tree is the carillon. I regret not taking a photo of the keyboard. I've seen it many times and didn't think about it. You walk past it on the way into the church.

I forgot to take the other side windows. Apologies. I'll catch them and the carillon keyboard next time.

This church is smallish. The ceiling is segmented and not high. The windows are right there and they are largeish and brightly colored. For some reason I felt a bit of visual sensory overload. Odd. Not obnoxious however.

No clue where to go for Palm/Passion Sunday. Not my favorite service. I'd like to go back to celebrating Christ's entry into Jerusalem without having to endure the passion then do the Holy Week services. At least I won't have to go the rest of the week since Jesus will already be dead. A week early. I might be up for a dawn Easter Vigil but you won't catch me at an evening one.