I go the UU church about 9:45 am and do some nonessential chores. The essential chores that I was doing when we first opened this new building have now been routinized and other people are doing my old jobs. That was in part my intent all along because I wanted people to get involved and become permanent members. Most churches are shrinking these days here in the US, and even most of the UU’s are reported to be coasting along, but not us Bend, Oregon UUs. I don’t know the exact point where it becomes necessary, but I do know we have to open the rollaway wall so we can expand our seating capacity.
Back when I was on the design committee, that was a consideration for maximizing flexibility. At that time I was reading Antifragile, by Nassim Taleb. That book is based on the idea of thinking about the possible futures for a given investment of time and money, and pre-designing one’s relationship to potential change in such a way that you can easily adapt. It isn’t the same as toughness, where you resist change, or even flexibility, where you have a structure that can adapt to change; it is more like building in the ability to respond to the new situations as if they are part of normal operating procedures. This rollaway wall is an example of having a sanctuary that can be instantly changed from an intimate close-in feeling sanctuary to an open one with more people but still intimate.
My job greeting people at the door has been routinized with various subgroups rotating who does that task. I now open the doors for people, and before people start coming I clean up the doors and benches by wiping them down so they are clean. I then fill the dog bowl with fresh water, although today it was frozen into a 14-inch spaceship which made a cool decoration on the sidewalk, which only the kids noticed. I carried a couple of rocks down to the labyrinth and walked it and placed them nicely. My meditation while walking was about my current life goals, including writing the newly titled book Being Kind. The sermon was wonderful, and nearly everyone stayed for the after-service conversations. I was meeting Debbie for lunch an hour after the end of the service and was one of the first to leave, as the meeting hall was still filled with conversations.
That’s what was happening up until noon, and the day was just beginning, but it’s now time for me to take a bath.