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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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Ah Solstice. Joyous Yule!

We had a small but delightful Solstice gathering last night. I made the Timpano and it was very successful. I made both a vegetarian and meat version. Margot & Alan brought crackers and tapenade, so we had some appetizers. Lyn & Rick brought an incredible pear and prosciuto tort. Ate that for both an appetizer and dessert! Emily & Bill brought a corned beef. And Mary and Dave brought that incredible chocolate peanut brittle that I ate all of last year. This year the others wised up!

So there were five couples and Emily's brother Matthew. Five teen and preteen kids. First time ever that the number of adult men at the table was greater than the number of adult women! In 25 years? Wow! So it was a really intimate group when we made our wishes and hung our ornaments. Very fun! I've posted the story I told at Ritual Reality.

It snowed through the entire party, so we had about 2" of fresh, but not really much more than that this morning. Still, Rev. Marian called and said that she was only expecting a dozen or fewer people in church this morning, so I should stay home instead of driving up to Kirkland. Probably will still have to drive the daughter up to her performance this afternoon. They won't cancel unless they have to, but they did cancel last night's performance.

So, instead of going to church, I'm sitting with a cup of coffee and a Mimosa and jotting down my Solstice thoughts. When Rev. Marian said that she was expecting only a few and wasn't sure that she would do any of the Solstice ritual with them, I told her a story from the "way-back machine."

When I was in college (1969), I was assigned a church in Northern Indiana where I preached every other Sunday. The Salem United Methodist Church was very small and was located in the absolute middle of nowhere, Indiana, sometimes referred to as "at the corner of two cornfields." The nearest town was Bippus, IN. It's on some maps. The first Sunday I was there was a cold and wintry day with new snow a la Indiana (about a foot). I made it to the church on time, but only one other person, an grisly old farmer named Hayden Renz showed up. He came by to see who was stupid enough to have come to church that morning.

I suggested to Hayden that it seemed we might as well cancel the service since we were the only ones there. Hayden looked at me from his seat in the last row of the sanctuary and said, "Preacher, if I go out to feed the cows and only one shows up, I still feed it." I was inspired. We sang three hymns, had prayer, and I preached my well-prepared and practiced 30-minute sermon. I rushed to the door of the church to shake Hayden's hand as he left.

Hayden pulled a cigar out of his pocket and bit off about half of it and started to chew it. He spat into the snow and turned back to me. "Preacher," he said, "if I go out to feed the cows and only one shows up, I don't give him the whole load!"

You can decide for yourself how much of that story is true (more than you imagine) and how much I made up (just to get the point across). Nonetheless, Rev. Marian decided that this was a good morning to have a service of sharing for those who show up, and not to try to give them the whole load of what we had planned.

Hope you all have a great Solstice!

cross-posted to chalice_circle