Sunday, February 21, 2010
Priest Sunday Off
I like not having to work on Sunday mornings. One of the great discussions I had this week with a few awesome nurses (do nurses rule the world, or what?) revolved around church. Does the Sunday-morning-as-Sabbath model actually work for us anymore, as the sort of society we are becoming? Nurses were wondering about afternoon services instead, or mid-week services. (And oh, my, that discussion would have fit right in on Holy Hill in Alexandria, at an LMA or a pastoral theology class! My peoples, they gots them some brains!) Part of what I like about chaplaincy is not having to drag myself out of bed at the crack of dawn to do services. I know that sort of service speaks to some, but it just doesn't do anything for me.
((And this just in: I do love hearing from relatives on their opinion of organized religion. My MIL has some great opinions that just crack me up. M likes to call her to tell her the religious news from CT. He just got off the phone after telling her about the Baptists. She countered with the story of a crazy priest who forced a few little girls to fast ALL DAY before Confirmation. Yowch. Yet another reason to convert. I feed my people!))
Naturally, I do think that communal worship is important to our spiritual practice. But if Sunday morning worship doesn't do it for me, how do you call ME back into community? Because, baby, if you can't get a priest excited about Sunday mornings, how can you expect to get a non-church geek excited?
[Caveat: for St. Mark's Capitol Hill, I bounced out of bed on Sundays because they ROCK. St. Gregory of Nyssa was supremely exciting as well. Is that the future of our church, or am I just an emerging-church-nerd?]
Of course, the struggle for me is discerning where to go spend my life after Connecticut. I am beginning to realize there are some things I like about the parochial model. Like the flexible schedule and the great benefits and the spiritual development focus, something that lacks a bit in the corporate world. But maybe I'm just not a parochial priest. Maybe the Bishop got it right when he nicknamed me "the Vagabond Priest". Maybe in my next job I'll be looking for a non-parochial-but-Episcopal gig. Does that mean school chaplaincy, a different form of chaplaincy, or even Diocesean or national work? I don't know. Maybe you can't ever call a vagabond home. The not-knowing makes me a little crazy.