Friday, February 17, 2017

The snow storm, such as it was, pushed out our monthly meeting a week. To today, that is. I had in mind a few things to discuss, current activities, and Lenten plans, including a weekend retreat. She couldn't wait to introduce me to the Anglican rosary. But the one she offered was broken, the Celtic cross had separated from the beads.
What prayers are said on the beads?

It's Anglican. Various prayers. There's no praying to Mary.
I had a feeling that she didn't herself practice it. I declined the one she offered, because it was broken, and I said that I would research it online. I could get one at Amazon, but the review there is that they break easily. "Handmade." I already have a rosary. Several, in fact, which have, on occasion, broken and been repaired.

I had given her my background information at our first meeting last month but not too much stuck in her memory. She blurted out, "Are you a lifelong Presbyterian?" What's the penance for misleading one's spiritual director? Maybe Teresa of Avila can tell me. I haven't expressly told her my affiliation but I've allowed her to think what she thinks. I don't know why it matters.1 Anyway, I stated simply that campus ministry in college led me to the church, which is true enough.

Upon leaving, I noticed a nuthatch feeding upside down at a bird-feeder. I recalled the numerous red-winged blackbirds from my walk yesterday. She would say that spring is around the corner and I would say they're year-round residents.

She said after three meetings we would evaluate how suited we are for each other. There is still a possibility that this is not a "go," then.

1 It does matter. It matters to me. And apparently it matters to her. But it shouldn't. I mean, it shouldn't affect how we interact. But it would. I know it would.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

He warned us of a couple of things, that his talk was long and that he was inadvertently drawing from next year's lectionary reading1. On the first point, he said he'd removed about 200 words over the past few weeks. On the second point, he didn't care to change it.

I suppose if he'd decided to start over with the correct lectionary reading, he wouldn't have had enough time to make it too long. If he were the regular speaker, his jumping ahead wouldn't be the least bit noticeable. But, once a month or so? I found myself saying, "Hey, weren't we in Matthew?!"

He read us the entire fifth chapter of 2 Kings without any paraphrasing, summarizing or embellishments. I had some trouble following because I'm only familiar with the scene between Naaman and Elisha (v. 14-17). He stressed the role the young girl played in Naaman's healing (v. 3) and how, in the end, Naaman's skin became like that of a young boy. He imagined that, after setting down the dirt Naaman had taken from Israel, he and the young girl might worship together. An altogether odd thought.

After ascertaining from the choir director how much Hebrew he knew, the speaker gave us a brief language lesson. I suppose he wanted to be sure that, if his language skills were a bit rusty from seminary, the choir director wouldn't call him on it. He said that the word qatan (Strongs 6996) for "young" could be masculine, as in verse 14 or feminine, as in verse 2, depending on the vowels. I see that qatan is an adjective, modifying a masculine noun in verse 14 naar (Strongs 5288) and a feminine noun in verse 2 naarah (Strongs 5291). I guess beyond that, I don't see the significance. Plenty of languages are inflected, having adjective-noun agreement.

As for the songs we sang, well, I need to promise myself that, going forward, I will take them all seriously. When we rehearsed "Brighten My Soul With Sunshine," I thought I was singing something from Godspell. I kept up with the part in rehearsal but lost my place live, coming in with the sopranos and tenor instead of with the other altos. I was so ashamed. We didn't rehearse "There is a Balm in Gilead" because it's assumed that everyone knows it. But I do not. And then this somewhat dark tune in G minor which I liked.

1 6th Sunday After Epiphany which will be First Sunday in Lent (2018)