- Tina and I spent the five days before Christmas with my Mom and Dad and brother Sean at my parents' house near Charlotte. We had a wonderful time - family fun, card games, and lots and lots and lots and lots of food! :-)
- On Christmas Eve, Tina and I worshiped with the community of the Church of the Beloved, an absolutely wonderful "emerging" Episcopal church. The music was great - mostly alt rock arrangements of Christmas carols straight out of the Episcopal Hymnal 1982. The worship was Spirit-filled, exuberent, inclusive of kids and a cool experience for young people - and yet, in its basic form, it was a Rite II Eucharist right from the Book of Common Prayer. Although in many ways it was more "contemporary Anglican" than "emerging", it gave me great home that "emerging" and "Episcopal" can go together - gloriously! And it put me in a wonderfully worshipful and expectant mood for Christmas Eve. Tina and I sang carols at the top of our voices all the way home!
- This past Friday evening, my friend Israel and I attended one in series of Friday night prayer vigils at Langley Hill Friends Meeting for their member Tom Fox and the other members of the Christian Peacemakers Team who were abducted in Iraq and have been missing for more than a month. They're doing those every Friday night from 7 PM to 7 AM. We only stayed for the initial program from 7 to 9 - a traditional Quaker meeting combined with a discussion of, in this case, Roman Catholic "just war" theory, and followed by fellowship. They are looking for folks interested in peacemaking from a variety of faith traditions to join in these discussions/vigils, which will continue every Friday until the prisoners are released. The insights during the meeting were truly thoughtful, faithful, and thought-provoking. If you're in the area, drop by next Friday evening; I probably will.
- On Saturday, Tina and I drove up to south Jersey (near Philly) for a New Year's Eve party at a local Japanese restaurant with our friends Phil, Beth, Peri, and Sally. All you can eat (and make) sushi, all you can drink sake (and a lot of other beverage choices), the very challenging sake drinking game, and lots of boisterous karaoke (both porn and non-porn). Yoshi, our host, was gracious and hilarious. I'm told that my top-of-my-lungs, William-Shatneresque rendition of "Sunny" will live on on the memory of friends and strangers alike for years to come. "Now I feel...TEN FEET TALL!" :-D
- Today Tina and I and our dog Machig decided to go for a hike in the cold rain. We started out on the Fairfax Connector trail, then left it, then found it again, and I said "this way is bound to take us back to our car!" For some reason, Tina listened to me, and we ended up hiking about six miles, only three miles of it in something one might properly call "daylight", much of it along the edges of winding roads with no shoulders and fast-moving traffic in the dark wearing dark clothes with a dog. And it never stopped raining. Adventure! Excitement! A Jedi craves not these things. Then we went home, took baths, and ate Chinese food.
02 January 2006
Holiday fun and worship
Just some quick hits about cool things I did in the last couple of weeks: