For those of you who are fans of ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ you will remember the famous words said to decorate the cover of this useful book. And while it is written perhaps tongue in cheek as one is facing off against Vogons or Belcerabons; it is good advice for all of us when we are suddenly confronted with challenging, unexpected and surprising circumstances. I have repeated this a few times over the last few weeks to friends and neighbors as we got close to the midterm elections and now I pass the advice on to all of you because, when you walk in to church on Sunday, the pews will be missing.
Yes. In order to make the 2018 Gala a success we need to move the pews out of the church temporarily so that we can use the space for music, dancing, laughing and building community. It promises to be a great night and a great opportunity to bring people together and celebrate what we love so much about Memorial and to dream under the (projected on the sanctuary ceiling) stars about what lies ahead.
BUT it would be a little cruel to ask our staff and volunteers to show up late on a Saturday evening to put the news back in in time for Sunday. So for three weeks (through thanksgiving) we will keep the pews out, and take advantage of this temporary change to dream a little bit about what it is like to worship without the pews in place.
Now if this is of big concern to you - Don’t Panic! - they will be back by Advent so that we can worship in our more traditional configuration for Advent and the getting ready for the arrival of the Christ Child on Christmas.
And if you are really excited about the prospect of removing the pews - Don’t Panic! - we will get a full taste of what worship is like using Cathedral chairs so that in the future we can evaluate how best to adapt our worship space for the next 50 years.
However you feel about the prospects of this temporary change - I hope it won’t be as bad as being subject to a never ending Vogon poetry reading.