Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vacation from church, week2

I think my Sunday morning vacation began on Saturday night  I met some friends at a nearby restaurant at 8 and we ate and  talked until 12:30.  Of course, that meant that Saturday night was a very short night.  I need to remember that I was the one that wanted a dog that would get me out of bed in the morning!

Overall, this Sunday was much less organized than last Sunday.  I enjoyed a nice lunch with the family, and Celie and I journeyed to the Long Center for free ASO concert that was cancelled due to a threat of stormy weather. The rest of the time, I read, slept, and thought about what Sabbath really means.

My whole life, Sabbath, really Sunday,  has meant going to church on Sunday morning and training union, choir, worship services, and now, Cantamos rehearsals (during the "school year" anyway) on Sunday evening.    Most churches have dropped the Sunday evening worship time unless it has replaced am worship.  Many don't attend worship at all, anytime.

I've polled friends and workmates that I know don't attend church on Sunday and asked them what they do instead.  For many, Saturday is the recreational day (Sabbath?),  and Sunday is the chore at home, catch up on projects at work, or finish homework day.

Thinking about Sabbath led me to interesting websites.  Did you know that Take Back Your Time Day is October 24?  This is the day that Americans and Canadians will have worked as many hours as Europeans work by the end of the year.  At one time, Massachusetts Council of Churches created "Take Back Your Time/Choose 4 Windows of Time." The aim of the project was to "re-create balance between work and leisure" and encourage members of MCC congregations to choose four windows of time for rest and relaxation between Labor Day and Take Back Your Time Day.

The website:  Practicing our Faith, gave me more good questions to ask rather than giving me answers.

Though we may yearn for Sabbath rest, what obstacles keep us from it? Pressures to work and spend? Organized sports? The fact that Sundays are no longer protected by custom and law? Trying to overcome a reputation of Sabbath-keeping as sapping joy from the day? 

No answer yet, really, but I do have more vacation days to think about it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vacation from church, week 1

Today was the first day of my vacation from church.  I suppose you could say that it started on Wednesday since supper and choir were cancelled, but that was a required vacation day.

I began the day with an hour walk through the park to the library and back home.  Thank goodness that I didn't walk as far as the Catholic church, as watching all of the Mormons turn into their parking lot made me feel enough of a backslider.

Best of ShowMike Peyton“Snake Scraper

I met Adolph on my way home. (I'm getting much better at, My name is Debra.  It's amazing how people respond when I say that)   He owns the house next to his residence and has built the neighborhood Buddhist meditation center in it.  My friend Dan goes to sit there each Sunday morning.  He says they're a great bunch of people.  He invites me regularly to give it a try.

Mom, Murphy, her friend AnnMarie, and I drove to Kerrville.  The destination was the Natives of Texas on the Medina Highway.  But first, we stopped in Fredricksburg at the Herb Farm. They're building some great cabins so that this will soon be a great place for a ladies retreat!

We stopped at the visitor's center as we entered Kerrville, well, after we passed it and made a u-turn.  I love looking at the brochures.  We learned that there was a gourd show at the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center.  There were also some beautiful textiles and designs from found objects.  My favorite was made from shredded paper, silk thread, and tea bags.  This is part of the poem that inspired the fabrics:  ...when your mind isn't clouded/ By  unnecessary things,/ This is the best season of your life." (a Zen master)

The drive from Kerrville to the nursery was along the Medina river near to the summer camps that fill that area. I went to Kickapoo Kamp for Girls as a teen.  I learned to water ski, horseback ride, won medals in archery and riflery . I learned some great songs, too.

At the nursery, there was every sort of native Texas plant you could think of.  I purchased a bigtooth maple.  These are the trees that produce the beautiful color in Lost Maples State Park and McKittrick Canyon in the Guadalupe Mountains.  There's a beautiful memorial site built there.  It relates the story of the founder of the nursery, Betty Streetman Winnigham.  At the moment of her death, a blue light shown in the gardens as observed by her beloved nurseryman.

We returned by way of Fredicksburg to purchase peaches. (Yea! After two years, we have peaches again!)  I wanted to finish the day with  Choral Compline at St Davids, but I'm too tired to drive back downtown.  The link gives recordings for last week, so I can celebrate at home.

A very dramatic reading from Compline:

Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith. 1 Peter 5:8-9a