RevGalBlogPals Friday Five, courtesy of Reverendmother, in honour of the US/Canadian Labour Day weekend, traditional end of the summer.
A highlight of the summer....
Can I say the whole month of July? It started with ten days of my denomination’s General Conference. The term comes from the Methodist church, which also calls meetings conferences. In the early days of the circuit riding pastors, largely isolated from each other except for conferences, there were some clergy who felt Conference should be considered a sacrament. When I was a United Methodist, I didn’t quite understand, as UM conferences have become more business-like and less sacramental. But now that I too am the one and only representative of my denomination in my fair city, I understand much better the value of these meetings—the sacrament of presence with each other. And I personally am spoiled—with 7 MCC churches within three hours’ drive in various directions, I am in a rare position among MCC clergy. So this gathering, once every three years, of clergy (retired, active, in non-church positions), laity, gifted speakers and preachers and musicians and artists of all kinds…inspired and inspiring worship—it just doesn’t get much better. To see friends I haven’t seen in a couple of years and pick up where we left off…to see friends I email with every week, or have lunch with once a month…to meet new friends…well. Conference is indeed a sacrament, if we take the traditional meaning of sacrament as a “means of grace.”
The second part of July saw me up to my eyebrows in Pride. Here in River City, we celebrate Pride for a whole week, more or less. This year we began with a gay-themed play about marriage, written by a young man I am proud to know; opening night we had two same-sex weddings, as that day also happened to be the third anniversary of the passage of Bill C-38, legalizing equal marriage here in Canada. Then we had the raising of the Pride flag in front of City Hall (in place of the city flag), where it flies all during Pride. Then there was a Night of Remembrance of our losses; a bowling night, a (cancelled) art show, a film festival featuring a movie that was recently on the cover of the Advocate (often called the GLBT Time). Then Saturday came, with Brit Boy’s dance set to be sorted and then enjoyed beyond belief; setting up the church’s booth; and the church’s food booth (Texas-style pulled beef and pulled pork sandwiches—thought I’d died and gone to heaven!). And then the rest of the entertainment that I, as surviving co-vice-chair of the organizing committee, just had to stay for (of course I did). Sunday was our worship service, with a visiting singer—and I was treated to a private concert on the way down to the venue as she warmed up. Then a mad dash to the parade marshalling site (with a clothes change en route) for the ride in a convertible. I felt like a homecoming queen! Then back to the venue for booth staffing and visits with friends. Monday was a concert with the singer. Tuesday I collapsed.
Two sets of ten intense days…That was July 2007.
RP as Homecoming Queen...in purple!
Are you glad to see this summer end? Why or why not?
Yes, in a way. The weather’s been mild, it’s been exciting and overall good, but all the same, I could do with a bit more routine and less excitement!
Name one or two things you're looking forward to this fall.
Well, as part of my chill-out campaign (see the entry for Thursday the 30th), I’m planning to be more involved with a community theatre group. I’m starting with ushering in a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to being part of a theatre scene again (in however minor a way) as well as meeting new people.
Also, one of our MPs is coming to speak on the Transgender Day of Remembrance in November. He is one of the co-sponsors of a bill to include trans rights in the Bill of Human Rights. He’s been a huge supporter of GLBT rights, at some personal cost. He’s a warm and delightful man.
Do you have any special preparations or activities to mark the transition from one season to another? (Cleaning of house, putting away summer clothes, one last trip to the beach)
Hmm. Well I like to put a pot of mums out on the porch. The porch furniture (well the two chairs) come in only with the first frost. I always have ambitions of deep-cleaning the house in the fall but it’s tricky. Sometimes it happens.
'll know that fall is really here when I can take the air conditioning units out of the windows!