Later Sunday morning Mia, Tom, and I all went to Church. Mia was serving at the altar again, so I was left to take care of Tom in the pew. This has happened before, and Tom seems to be getting used to it. He was quite well behaved this time, and people noticed.
We attend the 11 AM Service at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church. This service has some experimental liturgies, and some of the accompanying music is correspondingly modern. However, a lot of older hymns are also used, as I have noted before. This Sunday I noticed that one of our hymn tunes came from the Gross Catholisch Gesangbuch (1631), which I found found intriguing. It would seem that congregational singing was part of Catholic as well as Protestant worship during colgaffneyis period. Hence even in Catholic territories it would be plausible for the ordinary peasant to know some hymns.
The situation in the Scottish Highlands was quite different from that in Germany but it is well documented that from 1618 on Franciscans from Ireland were working hard to revive Catholicism there. They would have been trained with the latest ideas of the Catholic reformation, which would likely include singing. In fact, as Gaels I don’t see how they could worship without singing.
Less edifying were the Rector’s remarks about the parish finances. There is a significant deficit in the operating budget–used for day-to-day, ongoing expenses. So Fr. Michael said that unless that is made up we need to make significant staff cuts.
Moments later he reminded everybody about the Capital Improvements Meeting after the service. These proposed improvements, while worthwhile, will still requiremoney. So the combined message is that we cannot afford to pay all our staff for the day-to-day ministry, but we should go ahead on a building program. Plant before people. My belief is that any Capital funds drive should be put on hold until the operating budget is on a sound footing.
I am not a financial innocent; I have worked for six years in a government bureaucracy and before that for 18 years in banking. I am well aware of the distinction between the operating budget and capital improvements. Nevertheless, I know from experience that there are better ways to manage this.
However, I knew this fundamental issue was not on the agenda, and I had discussed the issues earlier with the Church Treasurer (one of mia_mcdavid‘s best friends). So I did not attend the meeting. No point in banging my head against a wall.
After lunch I was able to pretty much finish the rebuilding my son’s laptop, and had some time for other things. It was time to clean off my workbench, so I could do stuff that requied more than a few square inches of space. This meant finding, and some cases, making, places to store a lot of tools and materials. Among the former was a nice double-bladed ax that I had bought for $20 on Saturday.
Tedious work, but satisfying. Not least because this was something that was actually for me. By late afternoon I had a clean workbench. I then worked a bit on a new project, thereby creating some fresh clutter.