CINS held a Going Away & Pot-Luck Luncheon after worship for me on Sunday. It was weird and more than a little disconcerting. There were no chairs left, so I sat on the stairs and ate my plate of food. After the food was eaten and the obligatory cake was served, the Church Council Chair announced a "roast." No one said anything for a long, long time until PPRC Chair said she would remember our "kitchen table chats, where we usually ended up crying."
Someone else spoke up and remembered our first Women of Faith trip together. They threw ice at me and dumped a full container of ice cubes in my bed. (Guess who had the choice of either sleeping on the floor or in a cold, wet bed because no one else offered theirs in exchange?) And she thanked me for being "a good sport."
Oh - and my gifts: Two balloons and a $25 gift card to the Olive Garden. (At least my friend, Liv, got a $50 gas card from her two congregations!)
After the dinner, as I was preparing to leave church, I had a couple come up to me and told me they would be seeing me at the new church. And I had one of my mentally-ill friends ask if she could attend the new church. Another person asked me to officiate at her funeral because I "totally get it."
Earlier in the day, I had someone remark about my hand-made, prequilted purse and asked if I would make her and her three grand-daughters each one before I left. Huh what?
I've also had a run on baptism requests before I leave. One lady even went so far as to ask if we could sing some familiar hymns on that particular Sunday because most of the family is unchurched and she doesn't want them to feel uncomfortable. (Umm, if they're unchurched, then they probably don't know the hymns anyway?)
What a strange church! I'm kinda of glad I didn't have high expectations of Sunday. If anything I've learned to just let it go.