Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another Ward

I realize that there was no blog entry last week. My excuse is that we were involved in eight days of child care of three grandchildren, the oldest only five. We had a few tough moments, but got through it OK. There could be a bonus blog this week.

The Church (the same one I always write about) from time to time looks around and notices a large number of single members in a certain area. In an effort to let these folks know they are known and appreciated, the Church will sometimes sponsor a local "conference" for singles for a couple of days. If attending members should meet and become attracted to one another, well, that's not a bad thing, is it?
A family member attended one of these wingdings in the Midwest. She's under 35 years old, and turned out to be the youngest person there by 10 years or more. What was even more surprising was to be outnumbered by people using walkers (2), and to see at least one attendee pulling one of those little portable oxygen tanks. Hearing that, I don't know whether to shake my head in sympathy or take my hat off in recognition of their unfailing optimism. Maybe both.

And while we're on the subject, after the return of the parents Saturday evening, we were free on Sunday to attend one of the local congregations, known as "wards". The closest one is in an upscale community on the East side of the San Francisco Bay area.
Everyone is welcome at these meetings, which are intended to be operated in pretty much in the same way throughout the world. Still, you can't help noticing these these are folks, let's face it, are pretty well off. Otherwise, they would be members somewhere else, since this church is about the only one that's organized geographically based on the members' home addresses.
Ward members don't build their church buildings themselves, but you could easily tell a thing or two just by observing the parking lot. Minivans, large SUV's and luxury cars predominated. A motorcycle or dune buggy would have stuck out like lobster at a bar mitzvah. The ward members weren't all white, but I don't recall any hispanic faces, either. All the men wore dress shirts and ties, with suits outnumbering sport coats. The women wore dresses and skirts, and the children, and there were plenty of them, were nicely done up in imitation of their parents.
As in wards everywhere, the ward members performed musical selections and provided the sermons in a meeting that went just over an hour. The messages given were not untypical, but little personal stories used to illustrate revealed a little about the lives of the speakers. "When we were in Europe going through the art museums there..." began one story. Another speaker recalled that on the morning of 9/11/01, he was commuting to his job at the Northern Trust in Chicago. He wasn't bragging. He was just setting the scene for his story, which later somehow connected to Jesus.
I noticed a couple of other things that were new to me. Our ward has weekly printed programs, but this one included little bios of the speakers, and also listed the postlude musical selection (Bach), which was sadly ignored by the ward members. I guess they get old J.S. Bach every week.
I don't know these folks personally. And I have no reason to think that they weren't perfectly fine people, or that I wouldn't be proud to know any of them. Dropping in to visit two or three times a year, we may never know them very well. Still, sometimes it's the little, unintended things that tell you more about people than they might intend.


Post a Comment

<< Home