Saturday, February 13, 2016

Home again?

I was at St. John's in Waterbury today to officiate at the funeral of Al King. Al had planned his funeral with me in 2007 but I had forgotten the details. As soon as I saw the sheet he'd filled out, I remembered what a conversation that had been!

Al was a humorous, smart guy with an ironic twist to his personality. He was, as I am, a tad contrarian, so his choices for the service were quirky. He ignored all the suggested readings and picked a passage from Ecclesiastes (The 'a time to...' passage made famous by the Birds' "Turn, turn, turn" record) and an obscure piece of Revelation 21 and 22. Psalm 138. 1-13 completed his choices. He didn't pick a gospel reading so I read the passage from John where Jesus tells the disciples that they will come to him and they know the way. Thomas, a character not unlike Al, says, "We don't know where you're going, how can we know the way?" Us contrary people have to stick together....Al, Thomas and me....

I hadn't been on the altar of St. John's for 4 or more years. I expected it to be nostalgic and a 'home-coming' of sorts.

But it wasn't. I saw some folks I love and the building is still as beautiful as always, but things had been moved around--pictures in the library, things in the office--and the vesting room was much neater than it ever managed to be when I was there for 21 years.

I retired in April 2010--soon six years--and, as much as I loved it, St. John's isn't 'home' anymore. It was like being somewhere in West Virginia: it was a place that helped make me who I am, but it isn't part of whom I am now.

It was odd to be in a place that meant so much to me and not feel sentimental. But I didn't.

It all goes to prove that folks do 'move on', even from absolutely favorite places with wondrous memories attached.

I retired the month I had 30 years in the Church Pension Fund because I knew if I didn't set a time certain to leave I might just hang on and hang on until I'd worn out my over two decade welcome at St. John's.

It was good to see Jay and Steve and Donna and a couple of other familiar folk. But my church 'home' isn't there--it's at St. James and St. Andrew's and Emmanuel. That's where I'm 'at home' now--those places.

All and all, it was a good thing to learn. It's always good to know where  home truly is.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.