- I finished Star Trek Voyager. I liked it well enough. I think it’s a solid science fiction show. I kind of liked it better before it became the 7 of 9 show, but she grew on me.
- I realized if I wanted to be a Star Trek completist (and who doesn’t want to be a Star Trek completist?), I would have to actually watch The Original Series. I have seen some of the better-known episodes (The Cage, City on the Edge of Forever, the Trouble with Tribbles, Mirror Mirror), but not the majority of them. So I’m on episode three and wondering if I can enjoy it as an artifact of its time with some solid science fiction stories, or if I’m going to have to give up the dream. (Will also need to watch The Animated Series, but I am somehow more intrigued by that one).
- Reluctant to let Voyager finish, I watched the series Sweet Magnolias on Netflix before I watched the last few Voyagers. I understand that this wouldn’t be everyone’s glass of sweet tea, but I liked it a lot. I appreciated how they gave different characters’ perspectives. One actually feels for the young, pregnant “home-wrecker,” and the “mean girl” is absolutely complicated. They also seem to get mainline church right. The church everyone attends is pastored by a young black woman who is everything a pastor should be. They come back to the church throughout the 10 episodes and in the final episode the pastor finds and talks to the boy everyone is looking for and she calls his mother. They don’t name a denomination that I noticed, but it felt Lutheran to me–though that seems odd in the south, I think of Baptist or Episcopalian–and a google search shows that the Lutherans have indeed claimed it (https://www.livinglutheran.org/2020/06/a-faithful-witness/). In the first episode the church scene shook me because everyone was gathered together and hugging one another and shaking the pastor’s hand on the way out. I reconciled myself to it, but it still made me wistful.
- We are continuing to record our worship services. My colleague is on vacation. I preached for today and will preach for next week. This is usually “hymn sing” week, but we couldn’t get anything together for that, so I preached and a retired pastor and I celebrated communion (standing at opposite ends of the table with 2 loaves and 2 cups). I’m not sure how I feel about “virtual” communion, but we had done it before and then skipped a month and people had asked for it. (Sunday Worship)
- During “Hymn Sing” week, we usually sing a couple of patriotic songs. I tried to figure out how to honor that this year. I couldn’t bring myself to use “O Beautiful for Spacious Skies” this year, so I asked our music director to sing “Mine Eyes have Seen the Glory,” a hymn we usually eschew, and then I talked about it in the sermon. I have received one positive comment, but mostly I’m hearing silence. I have to admit that I am fond of the song (from my childhood) and I know there are people who miss it. There are also people who would be glad to never hear it again and are annoyed that it made it into the Glory to God hymnal (I believe it was not in the previous hymnal). And, in fact, I asked the music director to sing it from the hymnal as a visual statement. We’ll see if I get pushback from people who generally like me a lot. He finished the service with “This Is my Song.”
- We’ve had a “quiet” 4th of July weekend. Yesterday we made sausages and watched the 1996 Independence Day film and went outside to watch fireworks from our cul-de-sac. For a year when there were no official fireworks, there were plenty to see and hear. So it wasn’t really “quiet.” My son came out at 10:30 or so unable to sleep for the noise, so we watched an episode of Floor Is Lava as a mindless distraction. By the time it was over things had somewhat quieted down.
- I’m taking Equity 101 through a program for Community College instructors. It’s an online course, and it’s really reflective and thoughtful. I appreciate how it is organized. It’s helping me think through my own practices and the places I have been reluctant to engage, particularly in composition courses.
Enough for now. I hope everyone is staying sane as we find ourselves in month 4 of the Time of CoVid.