The weekend following the Consecration was a busy time.
Lisa Lattime and our children: Allison (17), David(16) and Jack(9), returned to Geneseo, NY so that Allison could finish her Senior year of High School with the friends and school community she has known since 2nd grade.
My schedule had me traveling to Eagle River and the Church of the Holy Spirit to ‘Install’ their new rector, The Rev. Paul Smith, and to conduct my first Confirmations.
The celebration was delightful. Although I must admit to a degree of anxiety about my new role, the joy and welcome of the people of Holy Spirit was such that I was soon very much at ease and, dare I say, really enjoying my part in the spiritual journey of that parish and the individuals being Confirmed.
The Rev. Dr. Greg Kimura offered a thoughtful sermon on the important ministry of evangelism and welcome all baptized Christians share. Alaska ranks 50 out of 50 states in the number of self-identified Christians who are staying home on Sunday mornings. We need to reach out and welcome these people back into the counter-cultural practice of a rule of life based in our worshiping communities.
A funny moment occurred just before the Venerable Norman Elliot read the Letter of Institution. Fr. Elliot’s sharp mind and eye noticed a typographical error in the text of the letter. The bishop’s title read: The Right Revered. What a difference an ‘n’ makes.
Certain that the Bishop was not worthy of such a title, and worried that my mitre was already feeling a bit tight around the forehead, I whispered to the smiling Fr. Elliot: “Better not read that part.”
A corrected letter, signed by the Right Reverend Mark Lattime, has been sent to Paul Smith and the Church of the Holy Spirit.
I left later that day to catch a flight to Juneau en route to Ketchikan, where I was scheduled to celebrate Confirmations and Holy Communion with St. John’s the next morning.
The weather was docile and expected to remain clear all the way to Juneau. The flight was not fully booked and the equipment was at the gate early. With cheerful efficiency the Alaska Airlines ground crew had the flight fully boarded and ready to go almost 10 minutes before scheduled push-back.
Unfortunately the ‘black-box’ associated with the aircraft navigation system was not as willing or interested in getting on the way early. We were informed by the Flight Deck that there was going to be a short delay while the problem was “figured-out.” “About 30 minutes and we’ll be on our way.”
An hour later it was determined that a new “Black-Box” was needed.
While most of my personal flying experience is based on a compass course, wind-correction, an adjustment for magnetic variation, and a heading to fly, I’m never one to argue against having working navigation equipment on-board. Some delays are worth the wait.
Evidently the new “Black-Box” did the job. We landed in Juneau around 11:30. Only two hours later than expected.
Unfortunately, that was about a half hour later than the hotel airport shuttle driver was scheduled to work. But Alaska is Alaska, and generous people run as thick spawning salmon in the rivers. I was offered a ride by a kind Alaska Airlines counter person who was just leaving work for the day.
The early flight to Ketchikan seemed even earlier than expected the next morning.