Busy, busy, busy
*Tuesday: Drove west to Rev. Ref & LW's house, where I spent the night (The Kid graciously allowed me use of the second twin bed in her room).
*Wednesday: Ref & I got up at 0-dark-hundred, and drove to Salt Lake City for the Promise of Land Conference: three days of listening and learning about preaching in the name of Continuing Education. It was held at the Diocese of Utah's Episcopal Church Center (ECCU), a new conference/office facility attached to the Cathedral there. The picture you see at the left is of the cathedral, taken from the roof of the ECCU (set up as a patio area, with tables and chairs.
We could also look down and see the finishing touches being put on the labyrinth in the courtyard between the old and new buildings. It's lovely.
The labyrinth from ground level.
Thursday: More Conference. The speakers were good-- preachers who know their stuff, and were happy to share. Sometimes the presentations got a bit academic for my taste-- you will no doubt be shocked to learn I lean more heavily to the practical than the theoretical-- but overall, I found it quite useful. I brought home more than one set of notes that I'll be chewing on for some time.
Friday: The conference finished up just before lunch, and we headed out-- but not before going over to take one last look at the cathedral (and in my case, a few more pictures). I apologize for the sideways nature of these photos-- can't figure out how to get Blogger to turn them.
There were Tiffany windows...
... and the altar book used by Bishop Tuttle (the missionary bishop for Montana, as well as the first Bishop of Utah)...
... and the primatial crozier (or staff? is it a crozier if it's not a shepherd's crook?) used by the Presiding Bishop, who was just arriving for a conference as we were leaving.
The dean of the cathedral was just putting it in place when we were there, and offered to let us hold it. We politely declined (the Ref. with more than a little panic at the very thought of being handed episcopal regalia, and me out of self-preservation. I do not have a good track record with croziers).
We did see Bishop Katharine, very briefly; but she was just coming in with her suitcase, and had that glazed, "too many hours traveling" look, so we merely said hello and kept moving.
Then we hightailed it back to MT, to be home for The Kid's performance in her high school play. They put on "Our Town," did a very respectable job, and appeared to have fun doing it (LW and I both took pictures, and if she and or Ref post them I'll link to it). Then she let me use her spare bed one more time, bless her (a hostess gift in the form of some Nutella seemed to be a welcome thank-you-- she adores the stuff).
Saturday: Again up early, to head for Helena for a diocesan seminar on financial stewardship (planned giving, captial campaigns, annual stewardship) led by representatives from the Episcopal Church Foundation. I had two parishioners also attending, from one of my churches; so we each went to one segment of the day. We'll compare notes later in the week, to separate the wheat from the chaff. The seminar actually finished a bit early, as Weather was rolling in and some of us had a ways to drive.
But now I'm home, and unpacked. And this is where the introvert kicks in-- it'll take me days to sort through and process the whirlwind of learning and information and general stuff that I've stored on the surface of my mind this last week. Right now all I can think of is that I am So. Ready. For. Bed.
But it has been an awfully good whirlwind.