Meeting was immediately following second service. All summer we have been going to first service. We ran into a number of people from second service that thought we had drifted away from the church, or even the faith. Anyway, before we left for church, I took advantage of the extra time before second service to catch up on my latest LinkedIn post. Training cyberwarriors is a topic that is near and dear to my heart and Laura Lee really came through with insightful content. I was replying to some of the really great comments when Kathy repeated herself. She said, "Because of our last name, we are supposed to bring a something or other or a salad."
Hmmm, Kathy you said that last night. But small group isn't till tonight, I was going to do that grape and walnut salad you like, but can't do it too early since I cut the grapes in half, (here is a great trick for cutting the grapes); they will get squishy.
Then my heart went bump, bump, bump. Wait a minute, it's not for small group is it? They are having a potluck at the member's meeting; right? Looked at the clock, it was 1020. Kathy says, "I will take care of it".
Oh no, you get ready, I am on my way, (I dearly love Kathy, but with her kitchen knife fu, we will be in the emergency room in minutes if she tries to go fast). As I climbed the stairs to the kitchen, I tried to channel Bill Kertsos, my old boss from The General Store, (I worked as a cook while waiting for my government job clearance). He was a believer in Christ and the fastest and messiest cook I have ever worked with, (and I have worked in several commercial kitchens).
Grabbed the large cutting board, set it right next to the sink, the Ken Shun knife, two romaine hearts, (you know that bit about always tear lettuce, don't cut it ... they were kidding). There is some leftover wild rice pilaf in the fridge. Bang. Added a couple celery stick hearts. Couple tomatoes from the garden for color. Hmmm, this is getting too wet. Cremini mushrooms are tough, let's cut them up. Handful of roasted corn, they sell them in the bulk aisle of WinCo. Still too wet and I haven't done the dressing yet, yikes. Handful of the dehydrated vegetable soup, (dried onions, carrots, celery, green and red peppers), they will add a bit of crunch and dry things a bit. Going to need to minimize liquid dressing. Salt, black pepper, paprika, allspice and just a touch of Bragg's organic cider. Taste. OK, this could work. Taste again, hey wait that is hunger, not cooking. Package it up in a used baby spinach leaf plastic box. Found a salad server, downstairs putting on my surgical boot at 1040. I will meet you at the car, put the salad in a safe place. Started the FJ. Kathy comes out, we are rolling. We live close, I may have exceeded the 35 MPH speed limit slightly, I may have run the light yellow, but it was still yellow when I crossed the intersection, saw it in my rear view as I was checking for law enforcement officers, turned into the driveway, slowed down, it is 1050. Now I am trying to channel my holy, calm and saved demeanor as I walk into the church with my Bible and salad with tongs.
Find a seat, on the aisle, (members are supposed to in the middle towards the front, but you try that when you are taking medicine that requires at least 6 liters of water a day). Breathe.
After the sermon on John 9, (good job Pastor Tim, the blind guy really did have an impressive attitude), we all reset the sanctuary from schoolroom style to 8' rounds, dining style. While I am rolling my table, I am thinking about the food I saw when I dropped off my salad and the number of people. Hmmm, we may need one of those loaves and fishes miracles. I signal Kathy, let's go let Yogi out and come back for the meeting. We try to leave without being spotted. In the car, I said, I don't think there is enough food and we can't be sure what is in the food, I will whip something up. Kathy takes care of the dog. I go up to the kitchen, it was a disaster, I uttered the classic words from Yogi's breeder when Rambo ate his crate, what happened here, (I really did channel Bill Kertsos). I had two cooked, low fat, burgers left from the Loco Moco and heated up two bowls of Skinny Shrimp Chowder. Ate, stuffed Yogi back in the crate, meeting had just started, as we walked in I noticed the food table was totally empty, stripped bare, it was either a plague of locusts or a bunch of hungry Christians and I was glad I was not there to find out which.
As we walked in, the meeting had just started. It was, well, a meeting. They appeared to be running it by some form of Robert's rules of disorder. Uh oh. I am in trouble, they are going below my fact input rate. You know that movie Short Circuit, where Number Five keeps saying, INPUT, INPUT, I am that robot. I used to be some sort of big shot in the computer security world and when I would stick my head in a classroom to see how an up and coming instructor was doing, I had to be really careful for two reason, if they saw me they tended to self destruct, (Stephen Northcutt is in my classroom, AHHHHHHHH), but worse, because I wanted to fall asleep immediately, the room is dark for the projector and I know that junk. In fact, it is far worse for me and meetings. I was going to major in urban planning, but they required you to go to three meetings that were open to the public and write up what happened. After a few hours of, "I was born in Stafford country, I am going to die in Stafford county and this is why your proposal is foolhardy at best", I changed majors. This was similar to that right down to people asking a "question", the kind that go on for three minutes and sound more like a comment. And of course nobody wanted to use a mike to ask a question and they were all practicing speaking softly in a room with over 200 people. Pair that with a moderator that will not repeat the question, even if you ask him to and I had this image in my mind's eye.
It is all good though. Most of what they want to do is both Biblical and reasonable. I will try to peek at the, (I assume, 501c3), incorporation documents and cross reference them to the new proposal. The number of members being less than 50% of attendees was eye opening, but not concerning. I never took the membership thing too seriously, historically Kathy and I are a product of a California Cult called Calvary Chapel and they do not have members. I thought the yearly affirmation thing for all the elders and deacons was a bit odd. I guess I will need to put it on my Google calendar every January to say, "good job elder Smith", "way to serve deacon Brown". But all in all this is a lot less scary than the time I was cornered by a bunch of Pentacostals who weren't going to let me go until I spoke in tongues, (I had been warned that might happen and practiced saying tie-a-tie and buy-a-toyota-or-honda really fast).
Yes, I am kidding and no, I don't *really* try to channel Bill.