Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A visit to St. Bartholomew’s

This past Sunday morning, I had a very nice visit to St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church in Woodinville, Washington and with Bill and his cheerful wife, Kathy. Bill helps out there and presides over Continuing Home and the Traditional Anglican Directory. St. Bart’s is the Northwesternmost parish in the Anglican Province of Christ the King. The nearest parish in that jurisdiction is in Redding, California.

Our visit illustrates one of the benefits of the internet, especially to us far-flung continuing Anglicans. I first met Bill when he commented on this blog, and we have kept in touch since.

When I arrived at the parish, only their deacon was there. With the rector’s wife having just had a baby girl, I think the congregation wasn’t expecting Matins and Bible class. So for most of that time, it was just the deacon and me. It was the second time I’ve been a one man congregation, but I’ve enjoyed both experiences. It’s meaningful when it’s just you, the clergyman, and God.

When Kathy got there, I introduced myself as Mark, “the Wannabe Anglican.” She was so excited, she ran up and told Bill.

Kathy happened to be the organist this week and provided the most memorable moment of an excellent Holy Communion service. About five minutes before the service, she was quietly playing the processional hymn. A couple up front thought that the beginning of the service and stood up, then a few others slowly stood up.

When Kathy noticed, she turned around and cheerfully said, “Sorry, false alarm!”

Without the rector present, a deacon presided over the communion, the first time I’ve seen that. He used pre-consecrated sacrament and omitted consecration prayers. It made for a short service!

Kathy played the organ very quietly during distribution itself. As I generally like to receive the sacrament in quiet contemplation and prayer, I liked that. And receiving the sacrament was particularly meaningful to me that morning.

Kathy and Bill and I finished the enjoyable morning afterwards with much conversation and lunch at Claim Jumpers in Redmond. I’m very glad I made the drive up to Woodinville.

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