< June 14, 1998 >

End of an Era

Two, in fact.

The first was John stepping down as Moderator of the church. Which, for me, was, all told, a mighty good thing. It's taken so much of his energy, time and attention. He'll still be keeping up some of the things that he's started, but it will eventually peter out. After two years of pretty much doing the majority of the lay leadership for the whole of the church, it's finally time.

The hand-off was clean, too. The service was really good because it was the choir's day out and they sang all kinds of things really well. They also did some appreciation stuff, and there was cake and things afterwards. I realized, as I listened to Lee, why it was that I had so many problems with her. The main problem is that she goes back to the days of when I had preachers that assumed that all mortal humans are not just fallible but failing. That no matter what you do, there was something else you could have done to be better, do better, or that you've just always, flat out, failing God's vision for you, period. Every week, every day, every decision you make.

That just sucks, in my mind's eye. If God laid out a plan for me, I'd think She'd be a good enough planner that She'd have some idea as to what I could do and how well I could do it and even my failures would be planned for as ways for me to learn an important lesson that I'd need later. I don't think She'd automatically set me up for a Fall. Period.

But Lee's sermons are gradually tending more towards that, and she's said, fairly publically, that she'd consider it an insult if she were asked to take an experienced UCC pastor as a mentor. Which seems just weird in my eyes. How else do you learn other than from someone who's been there before? She's never *done* this job before in her life and she's already refusing to learn from those that have.

Anyway... so John's out of the mash of that whole controversy anyway. And someone else is taking over, which is good. I'll still be a deacon. I decided that at the last minute. Got a dream that said that some fights are worth fighting, and if I back down from the diaconate now, while Lee is having her way with it when I don't speak up, then I'll feel bad. Seems that someone else has the same agenda, too. One of the women whose been having problems with the way worship services are going is joining the diaconate and since we're supposed to be the board that dictates how worship services go, she'll have her say and her way to actually doing things to clean things up. That should be good.

It'll be good to have someone else that speaks their mind, completely.

A few things that Marsha said, that I've added to my Biblical Self-defense page has really made me figure out that while I'm a Taoist, I may well also be a Christian in the sense of liking the carpenter as a role model, even when I doubt and question and angst all to hell about my relationship with the reality of a church. So. I dunno. But then he tried to change things, he didn't run away and when he fought, verbally and physically against the money changers, he did it knowing he would die, so he did it completely. Sowing the seeds of the eventual destruction of the organizations that killed him.

There's this cool idea I got, from of all things, a romance novel. That this peace thing is okay, most of the time, and that it's a good thing to preserve when it's not sucking away your inner integrity; but there are times when you have to fight, either in self-defense or for something that's worth the fight. If it's worth it, it has to be done with all your capacity with no holding back, no fear, and with the knowledge that you'll get hurt. That last is important. That it's going to hurt, and cost, and it's a mutual cost thing because you can get hurt by the hurt you do.

I am still not at that commitment point. I'm not at all sure what I'm waiting for, but there's something still that says that she can turn it around and that she can do something positive if it could be communicated to her what kind of damage she is doing without even thinking.

Anyway. The meeting itself was very neat and very clean and very straightforward. Everything was passed as presented and everything that was voted on was passed without a dissenter. The slate of candidates for the positions on all the boards passed quickly and sweetly and well. That was easy.

So John passed the gavel on without a ripple. The end of a two-year moderatorship and Lee's known no other moderator. Now she'll get a new one. And we'll see what comes of it.


We met Raven when we got home and he'd had fun during his time alone, including some time with the Bandicoot. I got to see a few more levels, and then we got to see his laserdisk of Baraka . Yum.

It put John to sleep, though he loved it, it was hypnotic to the extreme. I enjoyed the movie a lot, and Fezzik thought all the drums were thunder, so started barking a lot. Until he figured out that the sounds were coming from the speakers. After that he just lay down and napped for a bit. And when the movie was done John and I took a nap as well. Raven wanted to stay up and sleep well during the night.

So when I woke up, he was playing Bushido Blade on the PlayStation because it was one of the games that didn't come with his PlayStation and he figured he'd have plenty of time to play the games he did own. Which is likely. But it was kinda cool to find him playing it and John was still sleepy enough we almost got to playing, but then John came down and so, instead, we went to dinner at I Love Sushi. We completely stuffed ourselves on yummy sushi. One of Raven's friends had coined the phrase, "As good as sushi on Sunday!" So it was fun to feed him sushi on Sunday.

Then we went to Larry's to get some apricot syrup for lattes and a few other things for every day. On the way through from the eggs to the onions, there was a table with a bunch of bath stuff on it. Scented this, colored that, and much of it from Italy and other European places. A pile of French soaps, Spanish fragrances, and I went slowly around the rack, looking for French bubblebath. You see, J. Peterman's had sold me on the concept of French bubblebath, but it would have cost nearly fifty dollars to get their smallest amount of the stuff, and I wanted to try it and see if I was allergic before actually committing that much money to something like bubblebath.

Larry's, of all places, a super market, had bottles of real French bubblebath. Not big ones, either, so it was actually affordable. That was keen. They didn't, however, have mochi ice cream balls, so we had to give up on that. The rest we took home and put away for the next day, and then Raven and I sat down to play Bushido Blade. Even in the short time Raven had been playing before he got frustrated with the Story Mode, so instead of doing that, the two of us decided to just play the VS mode. That was fun. He picked the Irish fighter, of course, and I picked Red Shadow, who is very fast, very light, not very strong.

We then just whaled on each other. It was fun. John went to sleep around 10 p.m.. We just played and played until Raven got to kill me a hundred times. That was a good round stopping place, and Raven then tried the Story Mode one more time and got stopped at the usual spots with the stupid word things. I decided, just for the heck of it to try it one more time.

One thing that we learned in the versus mode was that you could stop replays with a particular button, which made me much calmer during the fight with the guy with the gun. Not seeing myself die again and again really helped the blood pressure. So I got through that. Then through the next and then the next and both Raven and I are doom-saying throughout saying, "I'll never make it beyond that..."

I got all the way to the end. My. Surprised the heck out of me. Especially with the fight with the master Ninja. That was scary-fast and fun, and I managed to never do anything stupid, even when he was running away from me.

So we ended on that note. That was kinda cool. A nice, long hug later and he went to the guest room to sleep, while I trudged upstairs to get the five hours I could, as we had to be awake at 6 am to get into work early enough for John to get some things finished. So that was the second era ended in this day. I first actually saw Raven on the first day of this year, and so I lose at least the physical aspect of him at the height of summer.

Oh, we'll write, no doubt. But it's the end of this small phase of my life and of having him in it.

I dreamed of sword fights all night long.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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