Sunday, September 14, 2008

Confirmation Sunday

Our bishop is amazing. Here he is, praying for Bantam17...


...and for Bantam13.

For each one of our 23 confirmands, he prayed an individual, Spirit-led prayer that made you wonder how he could possibly know them so well, never having met them. Only by the power of the Spirit, of course!

We meet in this beautiful old chapel only for feast days or special occasions like today. Even though it's aesthetically worshipful, the space itself is difficult to conduct a service in, because of a large wooden rood screen which divides the space in half. Today, we started out with everyone behind the screen:


Another challenge is having both horizontal and vertically arranged pews!

(I like this shot of Father Rooster, in between his father and his bishop. It was a special Sunday for my husband, with his parents, his brother, his sis-in-law, his niece, his wife and four of his children all confirmed!)

After the sermon, the confirmands came forward and were seated in the choir, up near the altar...

...while the rest of the congregation remained on the far side of the screen.


It worked, but our musicians and the altar were too far away from the congregation when we were all on the other side of the screen. We'll try something different next time.

We were blessed to have so many visitors today, especially extended family members of the confirmands, but also a couple of families who were making repeat visits. (And of course, our intrepid photographer friend from Illinois who took on the lighting challenges with an unfamiliar camera: Thanks, Ray!)

Our soup, bread and salad lunch for 23--(same number, but not the same 23!)--came off fine. We had to eat in shifts, however, since I realized late on Saturday night that although I have table and breakfast bar space for 22, I only have 12 chairs and 4 barstools! (I can no longer put off that trip to IKEA. Must buy: bookshelves, folding chairs.) A small group actually used our dining room-turned-schoolroom as a dining room today, on a school/craft table cleared off just for the occasion--with room to spare!

***

Last year, when we met in the chapel on Pentecost Sunday, a mighty wind blew the doors shut.

Today, we met in the chapel for our Bishop to confirm the baptisms of 23 people and pray for them to be filled and equipped for ministry by the Holy Spirit--and there was flooding all over Chicagoland (of which Kenosha is considered a part).

***

Last night, a group of fathers and sons who were being confirmed met at the same chapel for a prayer vigil, just as a page who was to be knighted spent the night before in church. It was a holy time for all who attended.

At the same time, there was a woman attending a celebration in another part of the building. Many years ago, she had been an alcoholic. She had joined AA and hadn't touched a drink in years, but at this particular celebration, she decided to have one. Then she had another, and she began to fear that she couldn't stop. She went for a walk in the building, praying for God's help, and she came near the chapel where our group was praying. Suddenly, she sensed the power of the Spirit come over her, and all desire for another drink was gone.

This morning, she called one of the dads she had recognized in the chapel to tell him about her experience.

***

Despite the chapel's challenges, it certainly seems that the Holy Spirit meets us in a special way in that place!

8 comments:

mama said...

What a blessed event! Please be sure to let us know the next time there is a special service. We're very interested in visiting :)

At A Hen's Pace said...

Mama--

Every Sunday is a special service! :)

Come anytime!

The next time we'll be in the chapel, though, is probably All Saints', when we'll do baptisms.

Let us know when you're coming and we'll plan to have you over for lunch afterward--

Jeanne

Islandsparrow said...

Dear Jeanne

It's so wonderful to read about the working of the Holy Spirit among you. The story of the woman reminds me so much of the revival stories in the Hebrides and also Wales - the power of the Holy Spirit moving even as people pass by. I'm praying for an even greater increase of His power and witness through you and among you.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Kathie--

Yes, Lord! May it be so!!!

Thanks so much for your prayers...

Jeanne

stephseef said...

jeanne, that chapel looks exactly like the one at nashotah house - i remember some story from the books about how the one at Kemper was copied directly from the one at NH? can't remember. but i love it, love it - love the rood screen, love it all. i have to confess that i miss a worship space that lovely here at our church on the north side.... pretty in its own way, but not even in the same league!

am being induced tomorrow morning at 5.30 - covet your prayers. will let you know when our new little one arrives!

Steph

Rosa said...

Congratulations on the beautiful confirmation ceremony for your family! What a blessing to witness the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit.

My name "Binnorie O Binnorie" comes from a medieval ballad. I've tried to find out exactly what "Binnorie" is, but have not had a very fruitful search. I think it may simply be a phrase used in the ballad for some sort of repititve saying... I just thought the name was pretty. =)

I found your blog while I was looking up reviews for Sigrid Undset's "Gunnar's Daughter," which is one of my very very favorites books. I also noticed your mentioning other books I love, including "The Thirteenth Tale," "Jane Eyre" and "Rebecca". Coming from one who lives and breathes literature, I have a great respect for your taste.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Steph--

Oh, I am praying for your big day tomorrow...for safety, health and good news soon!

Rosa--

Welcome! I noticed lots of great books, music and movies on your profile--more than I am familiar with, but many favorites there!

I agree, the title of your blog has a poetic beauty apart from a literal meaning. A great choice!

Blessings to you both--

Jeanne

Activities Coordinator said...

Oh, wonderful! When Salamander was confirmed I don't think the lump left my throat for a week.

Praying for many blessings on you and yours.