Monday, August 22, 2011

passing the peace

so last sunday i went to st. andrew presbyterian church in marin city. for those not in the know, that's where anne lamott goes to church. yeah. it was kinda stalker-y. whatever.

the church i usually attend is on the medium to large side, so it was good to be in a smaller community. it's pretty much as she described in her writing. only the regular pastor was on study leave; i'd like to hear her preach sometime. my friend lauren and i went last summer in hopes of seeing both anne and pastor veronica. so cross anne off the list. it's getting to be an annual trip to for me and lauren.

we kept our groupie status under our hats, tried not to stare and paid attention to the service. lauren and i even went so far as to introduce ourselves when they invited the new people to do so, which was out of character for both of us. we got a hearty, "hello lauren, hello audrey. " then came the greeting and passing of the peace part of the service. you know: shaking hands and saying, "the peace of christ be with you." and responding "and also with you". since we were trying not to act like adoring fans, we did not approach anne. but she popped up behind me in the center aisle and gave me a strong handshake and "welcome." awesome.

sidebar: the church i attend doesn't do the passing of the peace of christ during the contemporary services (it's been a while since i've been to the more traditional one, but i don't think they do it there either). instead it's called community time. like go say hi to someone new or someone you don't know time. as a fervent introvert, i HATE community time, and usually force whatever friend i sat with to talk to me until the 3-5 minutes are over. seriously. i think i have even resorted to going to the restroom during that time, maybe just once or twice. okay. back to story.

but the pastor encouraged us to extend christ's blessing to each other in this time, and knowing that he works in us to be a blessing to each other. or something to that effect. now, THAT is something i can get behind. because then that time of greeting is more than just small talk. Jesus is in that interaction and it gets me out of my own little comfort zone. plus church is so small, that you really can greet everyone at church. (the same thing happened when i went to another friend's episcopal church a few weeks ago - that's something else i'll probably write about soon) it just went on for like 10-15 minutes. hard to do that when there's like 100 people in a service. or not i guess if you want to shape a service that way. i digress.

anyway, that's what i've been thinking about since church yesterday. peace of christ be with you.

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