Sunday, August 10, 2014

Odds and Ends

At the 10:45 service this morning, the choir sang from the balcony. The conventional wisdom is that the choir sounds best when it sings there. I did hear comments from those who sat in the nave that the choir sounded unusually good. Unfortunately, I was also told that, from the transept, the choir could not be heard well. Oh, well.

There are other disadvantages to having the choir sing from the balcony. It is hot and crowded; having to navigate the stairs is difficult for some singers; and communion is cumbersome. The balcony has never been renovated to provide comfortable seating, whether for the choir or for ordinary worshipers. Some day, we should tackle that project.

Burned-out bulbs in lanterns
Lanterns seen from the balcony showing some of the burned-out light bulbs. (Click on
photo for a bigger view.)
Being in the balcony, I got a good look at some of the lanterns above the nave. As I mentioned earlier, quite a few bulbs in the lanterns are burned out and have been so for some time. Although some of the burned-out spotlights in the chancel have been dealt with, no attempt has been made to replace the multitude of dark bulbs in the lanterns. The picture at the right illustrates how one can identify offending bulbs. I did not attempt a complete count today, but I estimate that about a dozen light bulbs need replacing. (Note that the photo is mostly dark to show the shadows of inoperative bulbs cast by working bulbs.)

I took a few moments to read the Vestry minutes from May posted on the bulletin board outside the church office. I found this item in the report of the Junior Warden Eric Linn to be very interesting:
Eric reported that the sign committee met yesterday and reached an agreement about a new design for the electronic sign which will comply with Mt. Lebanon’s zoning laws. The electronic sign will now be housed within the framework of the existing sign and will sit upon the existing base. There was concern expressed about the sign’s visibility because of its location on the lot and the existence of PennDOT’s utility box on the corner of Mayfair and Washington. The sign cannot be relocated without a variance which the Church is highly unlikely to be granted. A suggestion was made to raise the height of the sign to increase visibility. Eric will email the municipality about the possibility of having PennDOT move the utility box.
Generally, I take this to be good news, though having the utility box moved may be expensive. Our custom sign is quite lovely, its only problems being that it’s hard to read, and we don’t update it anyhow. The space available inside the sign for an electronic insert is smaller than we would like, but that may be something we just have to deal with.

There was also this from Eric:
The municipality has requested that the Church move the banner in front of the property away from the intersection of Mayfair and Washington.
This, too, is good news. Our banners are horribly tacky and have been left up much too long. It is to be hoped that special messages will appear on our electronic sign in the not-too-distant future and tacky banners will be a thing of the past. Stay tuned.

Finally, there was this rather bizarre item in the minutes:
Michelle distributed an article about addressing sabotage which sometimes shows up in times of stress, such as when the rector is on sabbatical. The Vestry should be aware of grievances which might arise due to anxiety within the parish and work to resolve them.
I see no evidence that Lou’s absence has caused any particular anxiety within the parish. (The prospect of his return is perhaps more likely to cause anxiety.) In any case, St. Paul’s parishioners tend to be articulate and well-behaved, and I find Michelle’s “warning” patently offensive.

In fact, there seems to be a PR campaign afoot to convince everyone that Lou is indispensable and that Michelle is somehow not up to the job that has fallen to her in his absence. To be sure, she has had her missteps, but St. Paul’s is getting by just fine, thank you very much. As evidence of the offensive, I cite Lou’s insistence that Michelle take time off this summer to avoid burnout, the above warning about sabotage, Lou’s returning early to relieve stress on Michelle, and the constant reminders of what Lou is about and pleas to pray for him.

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