Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Vacation Day 7 (September 11)

I have so much to post about the LCMS installation service that I will begin posting today and continue posting tomorrow.
We ate breakfast at the hotel and then headed over to the Seminary. We had arranged with Lamb 2's godfather, Jonathan, and his wife Megan to both try to get there early and whomever got there first would save seats for the other. I thought Jonathan would get there first, but we were there a little before them. Most of the pews were blocked off reserved and there weren't many seats not taken already in the pews that weren't reserved. On both sides of the pews there were chairs set up. I chose chairs on the left side (as looking from the back). The first two rows of chairs were reserved for "Lutheran Witness Press". We took the two rows after that. Right before the service started a woman came and asked if she could sit in Lamb 3's seat and I told her yes. On the LCMS website in the photo from the back of the chapel, you can see Megan in a light blue shirt and you can see me holding Lamb 1 to the far left of the photo in the row ahead of Megan. I ended up regretting picking the chairs because when the Lambs fell asleep (or wanted to sleep) there was no where for them to lie down like if we had been in a pew. I now appreciate that all 3 of our churches have pews instead of chairs!
I was very impressed with how well planned and run the whole installation service and the whole day was.

We had been concerned about parking, but we shouldn't have been. We drove up here and told them that Ram and my dad planned to process in. We were sent to a specific parking lot by where the pastors met.
We had to save our seats until Jonathan and Megan came so we just stayed close to our seats. Before Jonathan arrived, Rev. Harrison came into the chapel. He made a point to come over and give me a hug and talk to myself and the Lambs then. He said to the Lambs, "Do you know that your Mama was my son's teacher?" The Lambs looked at him with a look that said, "Who cares? She's our teacher too!". I was glad to have a chance to see him then because that was my only chance to talk to him.
Jonathan and Megan came soon after that and they stayed by our seats so I could walk around with the Lambs. I saw a lot of people before the service. I was unable to take photos then because I was watching the 3 Lambs by myself. Here's some of the people that I talked with before the service:
Dr. Leo Sanchez-a college classmate, now at the Saint Louis Seminary.
Deaconess Pam Nielsen-I taught her oldest daughter my first year of teaching, now an editor for CPH.
Elephant's Child and her family-we were e-mail buddies but I had never met her before this day.
Phil and Cheryl Magness-also we were e-mail buddies but I had never met her before this day.
There were about 20 members of Zion, Fort Wayne there and I saw and talked to several of them before the service.
Lois C.-former church secretary at Zion, Fort Wayne, now a pastor's wife in Arkansas.
Anne Z. and Cornelia S.-Fort Wayne Seminary professor wives and also Zion, Fort Wayne members.
The Lambs needed to run off some energy so I was unable to talk to anyone very long. Lamb 2 wet his pants so we had a whole deal to get clean clothes out of the car and change. I was glad it happened then instead of during the service. It was finally close enough to the beginning of the service that we went back and sat in our seats.
I really wanted a photo of my dad and Ram together, but they weren't in their vestments yet when I headed over to the chapel and after the service they changed right away before I met up with them. Rev. Weeden did post this photo of Ram on his blog. I don't think he would mind if I posted it here too.

Megan, Lamb 2, and Jonathan
Lamb 3 and Lamb 1 before the installation service
Many have already blogged their thoughts so I won't comment much about the actual service. I expected the service to be about 2 hours, but I had forgotten about Holy Communion, so it was 2 1/2 hours. I expected the singing to be good when there were that many Lutherans gathered and it was. I wasn't surprised that they sang "This is the Feast" and the hymns well. But what surprised me was the Offertory-"What Shall I Render to the Lord", how beautiful that was when that many were singing it. It was very different from our churches of about 30 per Sunday singing it! I was so thankful that they used traditional liturgy in the installation service for both my sake and for the Lambs. I had my hands full with 3 Lambs during a 2 1/2 hour service. The Lambs appreciated knowing what was coming next when the service was that long. Lamb 1 had the idea to count the pastors as they came in, but they came down 3 different aisles and not in single file so he quickly lost count and had a tantrum during the processional. I did not notice any other toddlers besides our Lambs-I saw babies and elementary age children, but not young children like Lamb 2 and 3. (I did see a young girl in the front row that I assumed was related to Rev. Harrison or someone being installed because of where they were sitting and she had to be taken out during the service.) It is possible I missed seeing other young children because of where I was sitting, but I don't think there were very many. Lamb 2 and 3 both slept through parts of the service, but Lamb 1 didn't and kept saying the service was too long. I was able to stay at the entire service and not take any Lambs out.
Jonathan and Megan were brave enough to take on Lamb 2 for the service and he is always the Lamb that keeps me on my toes at church. Before he fell asleep Jonathan took many things away from Lamb 2 (his tie, his crucifix, crayons, paper, etc.). Lamb 2 fell asleep and Megan held him for about 1/2 of the service. They went to communion first and I stayed with the Lambs. Then they came back and stayed with Lamb 2 and I took the other Lambs with me up to communion. Lamb 2 slept through all that. Lamb 2 did like sitting with his godfather and getting extra attention for the service. I couldn't have attended if Jonathan and Megan hadn't sat by me and helped me. I'm so thankful that they both saved seats for us and helped during the service.
My dad said that Rev. Harrison shook all the pastors hands and spoke to them individually before they processed in. He said that 160 RSVPed and there were about 15 that didn't have seats so there were probably 175 pastors that processed in. It meant a lot to my dad that Rev. Harrison took time to do that.
It was a beautiful service and I was so glad that we were able to attend. After the service it was party time! I'll post photos of the party tomorrow.

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