Monday, October 29, 2007

Sprinkling, Dunking, and an Italian Accent

I enjoy being part of a Christian community that allows me to exercise my gifts of imagination and creativity. During the past two worship services, I got the chance to do just that.

Two Sundays ago we had two baptisms. One of them was a young lady who chose the usual Presbyterian method of baptism: sprinkling water on the head and calling it good. The other baptisand was a young lad who elected to be baptized by immersion. Now I know the Presbyterians among you are thinking, "What? Baptize by immersion? Is that allowed? Is that scriptural?" I assure you that it is both. Although Presbyterian culture very rarely performs baptism by immersion (and, in fact, frowns upon it in some circles, for some unknown reason), it is allowed in the constitution of the PC(USA). But what do you do when your sanctuary doesn't have a bapistry (tank full of water) and it's the twenty-first of October (too cold for the river)?

In this neck of the woods, you get a horse trough. Then you fill it up with water from a hose--brrrr--and throw in a couple pots of boiling water. And voila! You have a baptistry that will accommodate a twelve-year old without giving him pneumonia.

I think I had as much fun as anybody with this baptism, because I got to bring the kids up for the Time for Children and we put our hands in the water. There's something sensual about baptism, about being surrounded by water, about the sound of water dripping and splashing and running. It brings the bodily-ness back into the sacrament, a sacrament which celebrates the very corporeal nature of our faith.

And there's something fitting about getting baptized into death with Jesus Christ and having that cold shock of water all around you. You come up gasping for air, returning to vibrant, alert life. It's perfect.

This past Sunday was Reformation Sunday, when the PC(USA) celebrates those in the history of the Church who have called the Church to be re-formed and remain faithful to her calling. I chose Augustin of Hippo as our person of focus. I wore my alb, shaved my face (as Augustin would likely have done), and--to have some fun with the kids and accentuate the foreign character of this figure from history--put on an Italian accent for the service and the sermon.

I know, I know--it's unlikely that Augustin spoke with what we would now call an Italian accent. But given that he spoke Latin (a dead language) and lived 1600 years ago, that was my best guess. What I told the kids, as I switched from my own accent to Italian, was that Augustin spent time in Italy and spoke a language whose ancient pronunciation is now lost (as far as I know). So it made sense to me that an Italian accent would be fitting.

People liked it! I think they'd get annoyed if I spoke that way every Sunday (or they'd be distracted by visions of Father Guido Sarducci from Saturday Night Live). But for a one-off in the interest of a foreign flavour, I think it was good. And fun for me!


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Oh Yeah!

And along with everything else in the last couple of weeks - I got my clean 2-year PET Scan... NO CANCER!! Happy dance & praise God!

Life Speeds Along

Since the last time this website was updated (yeah, we're slackers!) Dad's been out for a visit, I've had 3 very good craft fairs, we took two small roadtrips (to Allentown & Ithaca), emptied the gardens for winter and got new carpet in our living room.

While the successful craft fairs were great, it's the carpet that I'm most excited about right now. It is with great rejoicing that we took the old carpet to the trash! The old carpet was thin and glued directly to the slab foundation. There was no insulation and no cusion. I'm a floor person. Generally, I'd rather sit on the floor than on furniture and until today, none of the floors in our house accommodated that comfortably! Our old carpet sat lower than the tile in our kitchen, our new carpet with super-cusion carpet pad beneath it sits well above the tile in the kitchen - it's a beautiful thing.

Yesterday we took a little leaf-peeping drive up to Sidney to accommodate Emrys fascination and minor addiction to McDonald's Monolopy pieces. He turns into Little Kid Emrys at the thought of McDonalds and stands there to decide what he can order that will get him the most pieces! Very cute!

Here's some pictures of our latest fun. No pictures from much of the rest of the month as we've killed yet another camera and just got the replacement! Enjoy!