Sunday, May 31, 2009

Postcard from Minnesota

We're in St Paul, Minnesota for a family wedding. BP wanted to go to Pentecost mass so we googled for TEC churches near the hotel. Well, that's not very helpful in determining who is welcoming to a gay couple, so next we went to the Integrity web site and lo and behold, there's a church listed: St Christopher's. They have three Eucharists on a Sunday: Rite I, Rite II, and RIte III.

There's a Rite III? Who knew?

For various scheduling reasons we went to the 9am Rite II. It is a nice parish church, with the steeply pitched roof of snow country. Everyone was very friendly and quite outgoing. We've gotten so used to the big service of the Cathedral that it was nice to be in a smaller parish church, where everyone knows each other, and the acolyte and the reader had the same family name. We enjoyed the sermon. When BP went up for Communion (I don't for obvious reasons) the elderly lady behind me tapped me gently on the shoulder and said, with some concern, "You are welcome to receive!" I thanked her.

We noticed as we left that there's a small sign in on the bulletin board at the entrance. It says "Friendly" surrounded by rainbow colors.

Yes, it is very friendly. Thank you to Fr Michael and the kind people of St Christopher's for welcoming the travelers today.

12 comments:

David |Dah • veed| said...

Rite III?

Tom Sramek, Jr. said...

What is generally known as "Rite III" is the services noted in the "Order of Celebration of the Eucharist" following the first two rites in the Prayer Book. Though not intended as the "primary" service on Sunday mornings, they provide some alternatives to the standard Eucharistic liturgies.

Cany said...

great to hear, IT:) glad you were welcomed and enjoyed it.

JCF said...

Off-topic: an abortion provider, Dr. George Tiller, has been murdered. . . at his church!!! (in Kansas)

May he rest in peace, and rise glory.

Liberating Lord Christ, VINDICATE your saints!

Ann said...

I just read the news about Dr. Tiller -- shocked and sad. Prayers for all who seek to serve women.

Ann said...

Good news about the church in St. Paul -- thanks for the story IT

Leonardo Ricardo said...

I like your church story too...thanks for sharing it (I especially like the part about the ¨lady¨ informing you it was ok to partake of Communion...sweet).

Fred Schwartz said...

IT, As Tom indicated Rite III is for the different times in the year when a I or II seems inappropriate. For example, on retreat, out camping, spur of the moment. If you get a chance, take a look in the Prayer book (ah, 1979 that is). It really is a great service.

By the way, think about the Sacrament of communion in this way: the sacrament is a gift from Jesus to us. There are many who think that some understanding needs be had by those that receive but a gift is indeed a gift. When was the last time you received a gift, say a special radio or a power something or other and had to understand how to use it before you could receive the gift? Or if you wait to deserve a gift one may never get the gift even though it is intended just for you. Or, when did you get a gift, say, a movie, and you said, well I can't take that because I do not believe in VCRs. A gift is a gift is a gift and this one is for you.

Just thought I would add that.

IT said...

Thank you Fred. As I said here before, as a confirmed R/C in my previous life I am technically "eligible" for Communion. But I respect you all and I will not pretend that it means anything to me. I go to Mass to be with my wife. That the people are nice is a bonus. But I don't say the prayers or sing the hymns, and nor do I go to Communion.

Thanks

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Good to hear your visit in Minesota was worthwile! And good to hear about the friendly congregation!

IT said...

Göran, I think part of the outgoing type of friendliness is the natural way of the Midwest. It seems characteristic of all the interactions we had on this trip, whether with a grocery clerk or the guests at the wedding we attended (the midwestern guests, that is.) Out on the "left coast", where many people are from somewhere else, people are more reserved and standoffish. Regardless it made a nice change.

Grandmère Mimi said...

IT, lovely. That's the way it ought to be in every church.