Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This morning was the last formal meeting of the ladies Bible study on Acts using Keller's materials. Nine chapters remain, however. Some expressed interest in continuing over the summer, including me, so I picked four dates, taking into account commitments to VBS and let everyone know.

The first date is the end of June. We'll be meeting at someone's house and I offered to facilitate the discussion. There won't be any babysitter so I decided to sign Chris up for a VBS in town at the Presbyterian church. Just to give him something to do.

I got in touch with the contact person who promptly emailed me the registration form. I made arrangements to drop it off early this afternoon. There was one car in the parking lot and, as always happens when I set foot on an unfamiliar campus for the first time, I couldn't guess where I should head. There was a steep metal staircase, of fire escape quality, up the right side of the building to the top floor. And a window A/C unit could be heard running next to it. But the door had no exterior knob.

"Let me see what else there is before I scale those stairs," I thought.

I didn't bother with the giant front doors, which I supposed were locked, but went around the other side. I tried three doors around the side and the back, all locked. That brought me around again to the fire escape. The kids remarked about the cemetery in the back and on the side. "Yes, that's right," I said to them.

I ordered the little kids not to follow me up the stairs as I climbed up and knocked. The door opened from inside and the lady invited me to meet her at the front door. She explained that she could accept the paperwork from me and even give me a tour of the facility.

I didn't want to trouble her about that but then decided that Chris would have less anxiety about going if he knew what he was in for. I mustered up the courage to follow her through the sanctuary, down the center aisle and into the back. I have been in the church a few times over the years but it's so white and tall and angular as to be intimidating.

She took me through a doorway behind the front wall. I can't remember if there's a pipe organ on that wall or not but probably there is. She showed me one of the rooms the program would be using. Then she showed me where snack would be served. Then she took me upstairs, just outside her office, and showed me another room that may be used. I asked about how many children they expected and she couldn't be sure. But I would think it's small.

She apologized that the program runs only three mornings because typical programs span four or even five mornings. The reason is the pastor is going on sabbatical, beginning that week but he wants to be there for VBS. I assured her, sincerely, that it's exactly what I'm looking for, for Chris's first time: a small, short program close to home. She told me she's been church secretary for about seventeen years and the coordinator has been running VBS for a few years now and that all the volunteers are friendly and good. I thought to myself, "Really, if I had any concerns, I wouldn't be here." Later, when I told Jeff of her reassuring statements, he said, "Yeah, this isn't mandatory; you're taking Chris because you want to."

Funny thing, at the end of the tour, Chris walked down the stairs and shot out the first door he could find. We came out the back of the building. Not so funny, Ella fell on their crooked sideway and skinned her knee and her hands. When we walked around front to the parking lot, we noticed the giant front doors were still propped open, so I had Chris close them and make sure they locked. Wouldn't want anyone getting in there.

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