Okay, so I was wrong about whether I'd be us for writing a full entry tonight. It's the end of another incredibly long day, I never made it to the office, and I just haven't processed this morning's events yet, either intellectually or emotionally. So we'll just have to make do for now with four annotated photos.
Here is Bishop Smith, standing right next to me as he gave his sermon this morning on security and preparedness and not being afraid. I'm not going to try to explain the sermon now, but I want you to see that the man moved around far too much for me to get a decent shot at that range without flash - and I was certainly not going to shine a light in his eyes from three feet away. Kind of looks like a special effects shot of Homer Simpson or John Scalzi, doesn't he?
Here is the better of the two shots another confirmation/reception candidate managed to take of me at The Big Moment. The battery on the camera was running low by then, so I had the flash turned off, and besides that there just wasn't room to see what was going on very well, especially with some of the people I photographed. People were invited to come up and place their hand on the candidate's shoulder in a gesture of support. My friends Kevin, Jan, and Eva all stayed in their seats, and of course John wasn't even there. But Father Smith and Rev. Angela put their hands on me, and that was enough. At my feet are my church bulletin and my Book of Common Prayer, which I dropped so the bishop could take me by both hands and officially receive me into the Episcopal communion. I think I was grinning, but you can't see it here.
This is Toni Sue, our Verger. She was baptized a year and a half ago, and will probably go on to be a deacon at least. Toni Sue is very kind and outgoing, and the spiritual home she has found at St. Michael's is very important to her. Everyone in the parish has really come to love her. Knowing how important confirmation is to Toni Sue, a lot of parishioners wanted to be in on it, more than could physically get close enough to touch her. So Father Smith told the people in back to put a hand on the person in front of them. This outpouring of love made me cry.
And here is Bishop Smith again, with his dummy Dexter. He's no ventriloquist, but the kids do like it when Dexter and the bishop talk about God in between jokes.