Sunday, May 22, 2011
Making a List
I attended the early service at church today so I could be at the ministry fair afterwards. I can't remember the last time I managed to get to church at 9:00 a.m., so this was a small miracle. (Good prep for preaching, too, which I'm doing next Sunday, although then we'll be on the summer schedule of one service at 10:00 -- rather than two at 9:00 and 11:00 -- along with the evening service at 5:00.)
For some reason, probably just because I was tired, I got a little weepy during the service. Watching the deacon, who served at my old church and is now at this one, I found myself wondering if I did the right thing withdrawing from ordination. That hasn't bothered me for a long time -- like, years -- so I think it really was just my fatigue.
The ministry fair was fine. I got seven people to sign up for a possible knitting group, mainly by dint of snagging anyone who walked past my table and asking brightly, "Do you knit?" (One woman fell over in hysterical giggles: I gather she's tried, unsuccessfully.) If the person expressed even the slightest glimmer of interest -- as in "Well, ten years ago I gave half a second's thought to maybe learning one day" or, "Fifteen years ago I knit two stitches and then gave up" or, "I dunno, but yarn's kinda pretty" -- I beamed and produced my sign-up list. "Excellent! Sign here!"
I didn't even make them sign in blood.
Of course, I'll be happy if any of them show up at an actual meeting. I'm sure some of them signed the list just to get me to leave them alone. But the guy sitting next to me, representing Ushers, had a blank piece of paper (undoubtedly because he was much more polite than I was and didn't strong-arm anyone), and one of the priests walked by, glanced at my list, and said, "Hey! You got a lot of people!"
I laughed and described my tactics. This priest was in my preaching class, so we go way back. "Ahhh," he said, grinning. "It's that diaconal gift, even though you decided not to be ordained." (As I've said before, priests bless and deacons nag.)
I promptly teared up again. "Y'know, for some reason I was thinking about that today. I still think I made the right decision, but . . . ."
"I know," he said, looking sympathetic, and patted my arm and moved on.
I'm curious to see if this new regret/nostalgia lingers, or if it's really just a brain blip produced by not quite enough sleep. In the meantime, I've e-mailed everyone on my list to try to set up an organizational meeting. We'll see if this happens. It would be fun, but may be redundant, since there's a very active quilting group in the parish. One of the quilters told me that knitters would be welcome to join them, so if a separate group doesn't work out, I may just go to some of their meetings. They meet once a month, and I'd hoped for a weekly gathering, but that may be too ambitious.