“Catholics confess their sins every week,” the pastor of our church commented yesterday. “Protestants confess EVERYONE ELSE’S sins.”
I laughed along with the rest of the congregation, but it got me thinking that I’ve devoted a fair chunk of space on this blog to bewailing the imperfections of the human race. And while the role of Embittered Wretch does hold a certain undeniable appeal at times, day-to-day life keeps tugging me back whenever I start drifting too far down that route.
So today I’ll tell a happier story about something that’s been brightening my path of late.
The church I attend is relatively young as churches go (but growing fast), and one thing that’s still being sorted out is the music program. The first several months I was there, the congregation simply sang along with prerecorded music on discs or an MP3 player. Which is fine, I’m not picky about where my music comes from as long as I get to sing nice and loud. Then a small worship group formed and began playing once a month in place of the recorded music, and that’s nice too. And then a few weeks ago a second worship group formed, and someone told me I should join it, and I’m in a place right now where I Listen To The Voices, so I joined it, and that has turned out to be surprisingly fun. We get together twice a week to practice, and perform at the church on the first Sunday of each month. The first performance I was part of was nothing to write home (or blog) about, because there were still a few bugs in the live-music amp setups and also our group was still very small. But right after that we gained three or four new members, each of whom totally rock their instrument of choice, and the sound system got upgraded, and yesterday? We sounded mighty fine, if I do say so myself. I’m really glad I decided to give that a shot.
On a similar note, the youth population at the church has EXPLODED in the past year, so now they have a shortage of Sunday School teachers. I dodged that bullet for as long as I could, but last week someone came up and asked me directly if I would teach one class per month. And it’s not like I HATE the idea of doing that, it’s just that I really really enjoy the services and hate the idea of missing any of them. But considering the pathetically small amount of money that I can afford to tithe (I think it just about covers the donuts my kids wolf down every Sunday), it seems like I should be giving SOMEthing of value back to the church. Also the pastor’s sermons are available on a free podcast at the church’s website the next day, so I’m not REALLY missing anything. So it looks like I’ll be wearing my Schoolmarm hat on the last Sunday of each month, and I hope that turns out as well as the worship group thing has.
Last but by no means least, the weather here has been intoxicatingly springlike this past week. I’ve begun turning over the garden beds, and over the next few days I’ll start planting cool-weather crops like garlic and lettuce and swiss chard, stuff that won’t be bothered too much by the occasional late frost. It’s still a bit early by Anza standards, but my gut tells me that the worst weather is behind us. I mean, it’s not like we haven’t gotten our money’s worth of winter this year, right?
There’s just something about springtime that makes everything feel fresh and new and possible.
And I’m off to the garden…