I knew I had an appointment in the afternoon, but nothing else to do at the office, so I decided to spend the morning working from home. Techie that I am, I can do most of my office tasks using just my old laptop at home. We do our liturgical planning, for example, using a Google Docs spread sheet. Each Sunday (or major feast) gets a row. The columns contain notes about what the readings are, hymn selections, who is preaching, what we are doing with the kids that Sunday, and other details. All the COTM staff can log in with a username and password from any computer on the Internet and make notes and changes. No more passing around xeroxed planning documents or e-mail attachments back and forth. It makes coordinating multiple staff assignments on Sunday mornings MUCH easier. I also use Google Calendar to track my personal appointments and task lists, which I can also access from anywhere.
So I got a fire going in the fireplace and went to work answering e-mails and reading. The cats kept me company. Betsy worked upstairs. After lunch I went into the office to do some meetings and take care of other tasks. One of these meetings was with a student from Wycliffe Seminary that wants to be a Theological Intern with us this year. I'm very pleased to have him on board. I don't want to announce his name and so forth until I introduce him to the congregation a week for Sunday.
After meeting with him I spent some time with Eric talking music and plans. He continues to impress me with his knowledge and ideas about church music. When I was at Holy Cross I picked a book called The Emergent Psalter by Isaac Everett. The book's blurb will give you a sense what that's about:
Many alternative and emerging church communities have begun exploring ancient music and liturgical traditions despite a lack of high-quality, published liturgical music which does not require (or even desire) an organ and a four-part choir. The Emergent Psalter serves to provide that resource. Featuring music written for two emerging communities (Transmission in New York and Church of the Apostles in Seattle), this book is an excellent resource for anyone producing an alternative worship service or thinking of starting one. (source)
Not surprisingly, Isaac is friends with Emily Scott--who does the Paperless Singing stuff in NYC. Emily and I overlapped at Yale a few years ago. Anyway, Isaac does some really interesting things with these Psalms. On the one hand he is deeply invested in the tradition--Gregorian Chant and also the Hebrew approach to the Psalms. But then he let's the Word manifest in an new way in its new context. You can get a sense of what I mean by listening to his podcast. Every week he takes the Psalm appointed in the Lectionary and shows how to do it in his style.
So Eric and I had a nice talk about music and some of our ideas about how to develop liturgy at Messiah. Lots of good stuff in the works!
Today it was rainy and cold. I slept in hoping it would help the cough go away (it didn't) and read some of my childbirth/parenting books. Then I went on a pastoral visit. Now I'm home with Betsy with a nice fire and cats-on-laps. Life is good.