Rich Paxson

What rule of your Church do you take seriously? Why is that rule important to you? Why is it equally important to approach that ordinance with humor and not take it seriously at all?

They probably aren’t written anywhere, but our church has standards that worship will be orderly and will offer the Eucharistic bread and wine to all who come to the communion rail. I take these rules seriously because I think they reflect both the need for physical security and the need in worship for individual communicant openness to the real presence of the Other other.

There are rules, and then there are interpretations of the meaning and practice of those standards. Does God smile at our sometimes misguided efforts to be true to our standards? I think so! And so we also need to cultivate the ability to see the humor in all that we do.

Worship services are iterative processes. We fool only ourselves if we think that any one way of doing something is the best or final way. And yet, we need to take each bona fide iteration seriously because not only is each iteration valuable in itself but also because each one can open us to new insights that will lead us toward more potent practices.

P.S. Thank you, Sheelah, for your good wishes for the New Year! Maura extended my term for six months, which I expect will be more than adequate to finish the course. I very much appreciate your comments, corrections, and good humored feedback! I too wish you and your family all the best in 2017!