Turf Wars

Tiffany Pouring Chalice from 1901, Advent Lutheran Church Yesterday, I convinced two of my classmates to attend my Lutheran field site on Sunday morning. I recently discovered that my advisor (and professor of two of my classes) was going to lead the adult education hour between services. Her plan was to cover the Book of Acts. That peaked my interest because I have a group project for her class covering that very book! I convinced my group to gather together at the adult education hour with the idea of freaking her out a little. She laughed when I told her why we were there (and also informed us that the cheat sheet she handed out to us cannot be in our assignment). All in all, it was a success and I enjoyed seeing her handle the conversation. I’m usually involved with Sunday School and my time with adult education is reduced to home bible study groups and the like. In my experience, the more exposure to inquisitive adults that I get, the better. Around twenty five people showed up for the class and the conversation rarely reached into the book of Acts. Many of the questions asked were about the very structure of the bible itself – who wrote what, how was it organized, what are all the other gospels out there, if Luke and Acts are one work, why is the Gospel of John between them, etc. All were good questions and seemed to signal a hunger that I noticed after my last sermon at my field site. The congregation, in many ways, is hungry for this kind of information which is why many people enjoyed the historical context I provided. They want to know, they want to understand, and they don’t seem to be getting enough of that. I’ll need to keep that in mind as I move forward with my time there.

Besides our little fun with our professor, what I really enjoyed was what happened during our the service. A travel snafu left the assisting minister role unfilled so, five minutes before the start of the show, I robed up and prepared. I ran through the service, did my duty, sung the psalm, read the prayers, and brought a certain style and pizzaz to the whole she-bang by wearing pink socks under my alb. But what I really enjoyed was when I distributed the wine during communion. I really got a kick out of telling my classmates, classmates that I had served through their tradition (The Blood of Christ, the Cup of Salvation) that this is “The Blood of Christ, shed for YOU.” They were on my turf and they had to suffer my tradition. Muhahahaha. Take that Episcopalians! When it comes to my rebellions against seminary, I take all the small victories that I can.