Voice of the vestry: Embrace the end and the beginning

By Mike Mittelstaedt

Member Mike MittelstaedtBrace yourselves, I think this issue of news from the vestry might not be as expected but by the end of this column I should be able to bring it all back around.  The distractions of a sweet squawking infant and the requests of a clever toddler to watch an unprecedented number of old-school “Bert and Ernie’s” and a la carte slices of Singing in the Rain, Kipper, and Thomas have my mind a bit distracted from vestry and steeped deeply in the adorable, addictive chaos that is home.  It’s shrieking, laughing, wailing, stomping, dancing, bumping, singing, until bedtime; and then the unnerving quiet, the din of silence that has me fly out of bed and check everyone’s vitals.

“Laura,” I whisper.  Laura assures me everything is all right.

I get up and check anyway, tiptoeing around the known creaks in the floors of our hundred year old house.

Sleep. Repeat.

Wake. Questions. Breakfast. Questions. Dressed. Questions.

“School today?  Work today?  Is today Sunday?  Do we go to church today?  Will we see Mr. Wescott? Kathy Will? Catherine Turnbull? Jamie Hackett? Daniel or Kathryn?” Seasonally add, “Is it Christmas today?”

There is beauty in this tension of the unknown, the competition between what is and isn’t expected, the questions and answers, done or undone. The raveling and unraveling all week, various stages of things coming apart and knit back together; we anticipate we rely on a couple of hours of community, peace and faith restored during mass; a sign we made it through another week. The anticipation of something as unifying and regular as the community at Grace, an anchor of Sunday, that feels coincidentally, and reassuringly both the end and the beginning of a week, a month, a year.  An accomplishment made by our faith, restored at Grace.

Happy New Year!