Thursday, August 5, 2010

One blog

So, I've decided that instead of having a travel blog and a crafting blog, I'm going to just have one blog and it's going to be about more than just crafting and travel (though it will occasionally be about crafting and/or travel), and I'm going to update it at least a couple of times a week, hopefully more often.

And of course, now that I've said that, I feel like I have nothing to say.

But I do, kind of! I will talk about a recent Sunday I spent in Maine.

I went to an annual church service at a historic church, which shall remain nameless. They only open this church up once a year, and a guest pastor comes to preach at one shortish service, and then they lock the church back up until the next year (unless someone wants to get married there in the meantime). There's an organ with foot-pump bellows, box pews, the works; it's not in great condition (think peeling wallpaper, stained ceiling) but it's old, at any rate, and has a certain charm.

As you might guess, this service attracts a fairly... mature crowd. There were a few people there in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, and two adorable children had been brought in to ring the church bell, but for the most part the congregation ranged from Old to Really Very Old Indeed.

Anyway, the minister was giving a sermon about how he had gone to Tanzania to train bush pastors who could not even afford bibles. Which, to me, raised the question, "Why didn't you give them bibles, then?" He did say that the conference he was at distributed 50 bibles, but seriously, I don't understand why there should be a limit to the number of bibles they're distributing. For the cost of this guy's and his wife's plane tickets to Tanzania, surely they could have photocopied at least a few hundred Kiswahili New Testaments. But perhaps I am missing the point. And I digress.

About halfway through the sermon, one of the members of the congregation collapsed. It was pretty scary. At first the minister kept going and we all tried not to pay attention, because it wasn't entirely clear what was going on, but it quickly became clear that it was serious, and my cousin (who was an EMT 15 years ago) and another woman (a nurse) ended up performing CPR before the ambulance came.

The minister had most of us leave the church and wait out in front while all this was going on. I'm not sure this was actually such a good idea; it took so long for people to get out of the church I was genuinely afraid that when the ambulance got here the EMTs wouldn't be able to reach the patient because the aisles would be clogged with very slow people using walkers and canes, and I considered trying to get everyone to sit back down. (It wasn't an issue - the aisles were clear by the time the ambulance came. And who knows, maybe someone else would have collapsed if we'd all stayed in the stuffy little church.)

The man who'd collapsed was conscious when they got him into the ambulance, and I hope he is OK. My cousin (the one who resuscitated him) hadn't been planning on going to the service, but decided to go because her dad usually goes but was out of town and disappointed about not being able to make it. Anyway, here's to my cousin and to that nurse, for saving that guy's life! Without them, it would have been a tragic service.

So, after the ambulance left, we all filed back into the little church (slowly) and after a prayer of thanksgiving, the pastor picked his sermon right back up where he left off! And didn't appear to change a single thing about it, even though he had mentioned earlier in his sermon how much we take for granted having access to medical treatment! I am not minister, but I tell you I could think of twelve ways to incorporate the actual events of the day into that sermon, none of which this minister took advantage of. I suppose he was rattled just like the rest of us, but really, missed opportunity.

Then we went back to my family's cottage, where there were more family members, and we had a nice cookout which I had to leave Way Too Early because of my long, trafficky Sunday-afternoon drive home. It was an odd day; a strange combination of sleepy and intense.

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