To Err is Human…And Last Sunday I Did

From Reverend James

During last week’s worship service, I completely forgot to lead the Ingathering Ritual, the part of the service in which we pour small containers we have brought either from some place near home or our summer travels to symbolize the regathering of our shared religious community in September.

I did this even though this is the beginning of my 23rd year of ministry, and I have led a similar ritual every September for 19 of those years.

I did this even though the other staff and I had talked about this all week.

I did this even though the small container of water I had bent down to collect from White Oak Creek near my home in Cary just hours before was sitting on the pulpit.

What happened was this…

My script for the worship service was on my laptop on the pulpit. This summer I bought a new laptop. Some of you had told me my old laptop, which depended on an ugly piece of duct tape to hold it together, was unsightly to see from the pulpit. However, last Sunday was the first Sunday I had used my new one in the pulpit, and I had forgotten to adjust the power settings so it would not automatically power off after a certain amount of time.

So while Rev. Sasha and I were acting out the story that Dana was telling during the “Time for All Ages,” my laptop powered off. When I approached the pulpit after the story to lead the next part of the service, the screen was blank and my mind went blank. What was next? I couldn’t remember!

So I unintentionally skipped the Ingathering Ritual and invited all of us to sing out our children and youth as they went over to Peace Hall.

Nevertheless, for those of you who remembered and made the effort to bring water from your summer travels or home, I apologize.

We aren’t going to redo the ritual later this month, but if you still have your water and would like, I invite you to bring it to UUFR the next time you are here and pour it near the bald cypress tree across the parking lot from our front doors. This is what I had planned to do with the collected water anyway.

While I forgot to lead the Ingathering Ritual, I believe the spirit of ingathering was fully present last Sunday. It was lovely to see so many of you and it was wonderful to have our children and youth back in the Sanctuary with us. I look forward to seeing you on future Sundays, and I will do my best not to forget any important parts of the service.