Sunday, June 05, 2011
The Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, an hour or so north of here, boasts not one but two tiny Episcopal churches. The one closer to the lake is where I had my very unexpected first communion, before I'd actually been baptized, back in 2000.
The first communion happened when I went to hear my friend Eric preach. He's a priest whose first church job was working in Navajoland, and who's now working there again for part of each month. (Between those two gigs, he worked for the Diocese of Nevada for several decades.) Talking about his first Navajoland job, he told me once, "Yeah, all my liberal friends were aghast that I was riding off to convert the Indians. But actually, I was the new convert; the Navajo I worked with were fifth-generation Episcopalians who were indignant that we were no longer using the 1926 Prayer Book."
Eric regularly preaches at the second small church on the reservation, which has become home to a splinter group from my old parish. Last week, button shopping, I ran into a former St. Stephen's-ite who'd seen Eric at a church function and said he'd asked after me. I shot him an e-mail; he wrote back and asked if I was still preaching, and I said I was.
Turns out that the little church at the lake would like to host a St. Stephen's reunion to thank the St. Stephen's splinter group for all their help. Eric asked me if I'd be available to preach, and I said I'd be honored. One of the priests from St. Stephen's will be celebrating. (When I started attending St. Stephen's, we had three parish priests, but only one's still in the area, so it's good he can make it!)
I'm very happy that Eric asked me, and I'm looking forward to it.