Today we finally made good on our plans to join in worship at Camp Parks. I was a bit apprehensive since I knew it wouldn't look like anything I was intimately familiar with. It didn't dissapoint on that count. A nondenominational service is exactly what it says. It takes parts from a variety of denominational traditions and weaves them together into a whole. Some parts, like preaching on a selection from the Bible, are familiar. Other parts, like a long time of singing and extemporaneous prayer prior to the sermon, are not so familiar. For a cradle Episcopalian there seemed to be a lot of emotion involved, which certainly took some getting used to. We aren't nicknamed the "frozen chosen" for nothing when it comes to that!
Talking to the Chaplain afterward we discovered that this group that gathers for worship is truly diverse. They range from Catholic to LDS and everything in between. He showed me where his learning edges are, coming from a non-liturgical background, and how serving this community is about finding what is important for people and incorporating into the worship life. I really appreciated his honesty about how he is bringing pieces from a wide variety of worship expressions and learning to hold all of that without compromising his own tradition and faith background. It really makes me look at my seminary experiences a little bit differently, and the blessing of being a part of the Graduate Theological Union.
My first big paper was due on Friday, and I am so glad to have it finished! It really stretched me, and I told my professor that I think it wrote me instead of the other way around. As a reward I had signed up to go to a "yarn tasting" at a yarn store near Camp Parks. Apparently Bergere de France is one of the only companies that offers something like this, and I have to admit I really loved their yarns. There were just a handuful of us and we had a blast playing with samples of their beautiful yarn, thumbing through their pattern books, and nibbling on french-inspired snacks. It was a great little break for me before I stick my nose back into my books!