You are here

August 2018 Crump Expressway

Blog category: 

Progress on the Sanctuary Renovation ~ Proxies cannot be utilized in all meetings, but our first effort with proxies was successful for our congregational meeting on July 8, with a couple of forms not completed as we had intended.  Nevertheless, we had good participation and a positive VOTE to release funds for our project. At present, the Sanctuary Team is waiting for designs, drawings, and costs. SAFETY will be the watchword, however, for all of us children and adults, during the proposed construction months of September/October.  

Yes, we considered holding worship services elsewhere, but all options were unsatisfactory. Besides, I love the smell of freshly cut pine and paint on Sunday morning. I also like scaffolding, signaling to all that something is happening and that we are keeping our promises, one to another.  If you have outstanding Great Expectations pledges, make an effort to send us your gift this summer.  Thanks, to all, for your generosity and your faith in the people carrying out this major project of Great Expectations.  

The Courtyard and Fountain ~ Because it was once operating and because it is a focal point for our congregation, the fountain is receiving inquiries and several complaints, mostly because the courtyard is a construction site and not useable.  We discovered that the fountain was wasting water and that with some alterations, we could create more efficiencies. So, we're taking time now to redesign flows, plumbing, and unit lids. Essentially, our church has now become the contractor for this design element and repair, with volunteers leading the project. Our plan includes restoring LED lighting just as it was originally designed.  It is taking the summer, however, to make things right. Thanks for your enduring patience.

Blast from the Past ~ The Installation Service held here in 1983, was a high church event, running a close second to the solemnity, pomp, celebration, and pageantry to the one and only ordination service we held here for The Reverend Nathan Ryan in 2013.  These high church events are signals that congregational polity is invoked, not through high ecclesiastical authorities but through congregational polity. In our tradition, only a congregation can ordain or call a minister. I recall how impressed my mother was in her first trip to Baton Rouge, having travelled via The City of New Orleans to Hammond.  She tasted her first bowl of gumbo, Louisiana style, and remarked, "It sure doesn't taste like Campbell's!" That declaration captures my experience here.

At the Installation Service we introduced the first of two pewter chalices that now reside in our church for worship services and family ministry programming.  The Reverend Jack Mendelsohn delivered the Installation Sermon that evening in March, "Life Is Like a River." 

The congregation said in unison: "With understanding and faith we mutually accept and welcome each other. We shall move forward in shared experience."  No minister could ask for more of a promise, especially as I now look back at how we continued to move forward.  

Recently, The Reverend John Weston, who served the UUA in what is now the Transitions Office, wrote:  

"Congratulations to you and to the congregation as you bring your ministry to a close.  I have only the most superficial grasp of the dedication and mutual forbearance required of both minister and congregational leadership if vital ministry is to endure for close to four decades."

Best Laid Plans ~ I recall what John Steinbeck said about the "best laid plans of mice and men."  I've been asked about my plans after 40 years in the ministry.  At present, I am planning to stay in Baton Rouge.  Certainly, I hope to reflect on those years with thanksgiving –not a difficult task, as I review journal entries and archives this year at my home study and attic.  The first year at least, is likely to be a trying-out year.  I hope to attend the 2019 autumn Crump family reunion in Illinois which in past years landed in the holiday season making it impossible for me to attend. Then, to nourish the muses, I hope to survey the wondrous pages of the Sweetwater and Sam Ash catalogs.  I think of them as seed catalogs for the next planting and purchase of sound equipment, software, and keyboard workstation.