Author Topic: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections  (Read 59141 times)

D. Engebretson

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #45 on: April 05, 2020, 09:06:55 PM »
We live streamed our entire service, complete with the traditional Palm Sunday opening. However, I put a vase with several palm branches next to the pulpit and posted the picture to our church's FB page the day before with this caption:
"Hosanna, loud hosanna, the little children sang..." Unfortunately this year those "little children" will not be seen processing up the aisle waving palm branches. Nevertheless, this vase of palm branches will sit next to the pulpit tomorrow morning as a reminder of their usual presence, ushering in our Palm Sunday worship, and as a hope that next year we will again know the joy of being together in God's house, where new branches will be waved once more as we sing "All Glory, Laud, and Honor."
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

J.L. Precup

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #46 on: April 06, 2020, 12:36:07 PM »
Figuring out how to do "virtual worship" is a real challenge, as we're all discovering. What's the balance between "keeping it familiar" and "not just trying to do a regular service with no worshipers, but adapt to the new situation"? My daughter (who has the benefit of a parishioner with video editing experience) put this Palm Sunday procession together, which I think is really quite remarkable:

https://www.stpaulspittsford.org/hp_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/PalmSundayProcession.mp4?fbclid=IwAR2rjU4Ea19cnFLUhIxaQXCIQWnraREBSxGjv5HC9InM6e8VQAZa5Nuc5kM

We sort of copied the idea at our church, but with much less expertise, so we just used still photos rather than video. It wasn't nearly as engaging, but still quite moving to see the faces of people we are missing.

This is very good!  Kind of stuck in Brooklyn, we went to the Brooklyn Terminal Market where all the flowers come into the borough, got a lovely palm plant in a big pot, put it on rollers and the palm itself - immune to COVID19 - processed from the entrance of the sanctuary up to the altar.  It did start waving along the way - in the spirit of the day.

Dave Benke

I tuned into live stream worship yesterday, and wondered why the person operating the camera was wandering around outside.  And why in the world would the camera continually pan up and down the street too high to see any traffic going by, little that it was.  Then, without coffee, I got it!  I was looking at the palm trees I see everyday as the fronds at the very top gently swayed in a light breeze.  Hosanna! 
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

Dave Benke

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #47 on: April 06, 2020, 02:36:46 PM »
Figuring out how to do "virtual worship" is a real challenge, as we're all discovering. What's the balance between "keeping it familiar" and "not just trying to do a regular service with no worshipers, but adapt to the new situation"? My daughter (who has the benefit of a parishioner with video editing experience) put this Palm Sunday procession together, which I think is really quite remarkable:

https://www.stpaulspittsford.org/hp_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/PalmSundayProcession.mp4?fbclid=IwAR2rjU4Ea19cnFLUhIxaQXCIQWnraREBSxGjv5HC9InM6e8VQAZa5Nuc5kM

We sort of copied the idea at our church, but with much less expertise, so we just used still photos rather than video. It wasn't nearly as engaging, but still quite moving to see the faces of people we are missing.

This is very good!  Kind of stuck in Brooklyn, we went to the Brooklyn Terminal Market where all the flowers come into the borough, got a lovely palm plant in a big pot, put it on rollers and the palm itself - immune to COVID19 - processed from the entrance of the sanctuary up to the altar.  It did start waving along the way - in the spirit of the day.

Dave Benke

I tuned into live stream worship yesterday, and wondered why the person operating the camera was wandering around outside.  And why in the world would the camera continually pan up and down the street too high to see any traffic going by, little that it was.  Then, without coffee, I got it!  I was looking at the palm trees I see everyday as the fronds at the very top gently swayed in a light breeze.  Hosanna!

All those happily liberated palm branches, free from the annual harvest for liturgical use.  The question now becomes what we will burn to make the ashes for next year's Ash Wednesday?

Dave Benke
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Coach-Rev

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #48 on: April 06, 2020, 02:48:41 PM »

All those happily liberated palm branches, free from the annual harvest for liturgical use.  The question now becomes what we will burn to make the ashes for next year's Ash Wednesday?

Dave Benke

We still have the palm fronds used for crosses, and can burn those.  That said, one year our leftover palms molded (!) during the year and were half rotten.  I didn't get ash from them, but it did not matter.  I have a jar of palm ash that is nearly full, containing the remnants of all the palms I've burned over the years that went unused  (I'm also a bit meticulous in that after burning, I use a mortar and pestle to grind to a fine dust, and then sieve out the unburned fibers left behind).  Historical?  no, but for me, there is something timeless in knowing that I'm using ash from ALL of the Palm Sunday palms going back to 1997, reminding me that in my own mortality, I too will be called from this life when my time of ministry has run it's course.
"The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

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Dan Fienen

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #49 on: April 06, 2020, 03:07:39 PM »
It's probably been 3 or 4 years since I've burned palms and still have plenty for next year. You can also order palm ashes on line.
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Dave Benke

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #50 on: April 06, 2020, 04:30:12 PM »

All those happily liberated palm branches, free from the annual harvest for liturgical use.  The question now becomes what we will burn to make the ashes for next year's Ash Wednesday?

Dave Benke

We still have the palm fronds used for crosses, and can burn those.  That said, one year our leftover palms molded (!) during the year and were half rotten.  I didn't get ash from them, but it did not matter.  I have a jar of palm ash that is nearly full, containing the remnants of all the palms I've burned over the years that went unused  (I'm also a bit meticulous in that after burning, I use a mortar and pestle to grind to a fine dust, and then sieve out the unburned fibers left behind).  Historical?  no, but for me, there is something timeless in knowing that I'm using ash from ALL of the Palm Sunday palms going back to 1997, reminding me that in my own mortality, I too will be called from this life when my time of ministry has run it's course.

We also have remainder ashes available, so I'm only being theoretical.  Each year, I add a pinch of ash from a vial that contains the dust from Ground Zero.  Intermingled in that dust are the remains of those who were immolated on September 11 by heat 500 degrees hotter than that used in cremation, a specific reminder, now being called up into current reality here, of our mortality.

Dave Benke
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #51 on: April 06, 2020, 06:49:18 PM »
It's probably been 3 or 4 years since I've burned palms and still have plenty for next year. You can also order palm ashes on line.


After reading instructions about how to make the ash from palms, I went to the large Catholic Supply house in town and got them. Later, when I moved away, I ordered them and got them through the mail. Much easier.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 06:52:42 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Dave Benke

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #52 on: April 06, 2020, 10:46:44 PM »
It's probably been 3 or 4 years since I've burned palms and still have plenty for next year. You can also order palm ashes on line.


After reading instructions about how to make the ash from palms, I went to the large Catholic Supply house in town and got them. Later, when I moved away, I ordered them and got them through the mail. Much easier.

A man with a plan!

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Dan Fienen

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #53 on: April 06, 2020, 10:54:04 PM »
When storing leftover palms don't store in a plastic bag but loosely contained in paper. Plastic retains moisture and they may mold. If you let them dry out, they'll store better, and later burn better. Not that they burn at all well in the best of conditions.  I put mine outdoors in an aluminum disposable pan and use a propane torch on them.
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Jeremy Loesch

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #54 on: April 06, 2020, 11:04:23 PM »
A reflection...watching more tv than normal, partly because I am with the kids and they cannot ride their bikes all day long and our sog cannot take a 24 hour walk. Last night I watched an Australian baking show. Someone made a meringue and the audience went crazy with applause. I was totally shocked. Don't Australians boo meringue?

Jeremy
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Michael Slusser

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #55 on: April 07, 2020, 09:09:37 AM »
A reflection...watching more tv than normal, partly because I am with the kids and they cannot ride their bikes all day long and our sog cannot take a 24 hour walk. Last night I watched an Australian baking show. Someone made a meringue and the audience went crazy with applause. I was totally shocked. Don't Australians boo meringue?

Jeremy
:'(  :'(
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John_Hannah

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #56 on: April 16, 2020, 06:56:40 AM »
Charles wrote: ". . . today I stripped the rest from the bones and make a curried turkey to put on some wild rice."

Wild rice; one of the things I miss about living in Minnesota.   :)
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Norman Teigen

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #57 on: April 16, 2020, 07:10:26 AM »
The winter lingers on in Minnesota.  Cold winds from the north at 15 mph and temperatures in the 20s and 30s are restricting my bicycle riding.  Snow bursts of intensity like popcorn popping in the microwave are a daily occurrence.  I find a new source for  my theological education: the You Tube lectures of Professor Steven Paulson.  A Minnesota Heresy Hunter has appeared on this Forum whose hidden agenda is to expose error.  This MHH has introduced me to Professor Paulson and we are eagerly listening to what he says. 
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 07:14:07 AM by Norman Teigen »
Norman Teigen

James J Eivan

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #58 on: May 02, 2020, 09:21:49 AM »
I wish you could meet my almost 91 year old father ... the Good Lord gave him a wife ... but only for a bit less than 28 years ... called to glory shortly before her 56th birthday ... now sainted for 35 years ... loved and respected by his peers so greatly that he and his wife were disinvited from a holiday party after the invitation was received. His oldest daughter was downs ... and was received to glory before age 40.

He is visually challenged as your wife is ... to the point that he is unable to read hymn lyrics displayed on the largest iPad available. A week ago he tripped in the driveway knocking his head, shoulder, and side on the corner of the brick facade ...with the amount of blood  on the drive, I was sure that there would be an emergency room visit  ... but thankfully not ... but with his upper arm and side are severely bruised ... body movement is painful and sleeping is few and far between ... thankful his 80  year old doctor consented to his having his first patient in over a month.  Yet he can still thank the Lord in all things  ... still witness that all things work for the good for those who love the Lord ... still say the Lord gives ... the Lord takes away  ... blessed be the name of the Lord.

If only you, I, and others were half as thankful as he.

Where is thankfulness in the following "I weary of the stale, flat and non-technical presentations that some churches throw up on YouTube or stream to people. Heavens! Can’t we learn that a different media, a different context, a different everything requires a different approach? Another bright spot: The National Cathedral in Washington D.C. does a good job."?

The National Cathedral video budget is in the many many thousands of dollars ... not to mention the professional staff operating equipment most likely in place long before the pandemic hit.  Many congregations had not even considered video before the pandemic  ... my pastor knew a bit about it ... cut short his family vacation driving back 700 miles so we would not miss a midweek Lenten Service. From forum posts the struggles of pastors struggling  to provide virtual services for their flock with no budget, little technical expertise, no, poor, slow, flakey Internet service,  and sometimes not even a spouse to assist with the camera responsibility.  Rather than viewing services as "stale, flat, and nontechnical, why not be thankful that these.pastors and congregations used the talent available to serve their Lord and flock even with the most basic video and sometimes audio presentation.

How is your criticism of "stale, flat, and nontechnical" virtual.church services received by those.forum members who have become unwilling videographers constructive as they labor many painstaking hours to share God's message in a medium many know little about.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #59 on: May 02, 2020, 09:45:00 AM »
I am one of those mid-sized rural churches that simply had no budget for the technical videography I will again produce tomorrow.  We use my cell phone and the available 'data' I have through my carrier since there is also no internet at church.  Even if we had internet it would not be adequate to do the job.

I realize that many are used to productions that are produced with a great deal more expertise and refinement.  But I couldn't help but think of the hand-written card I received this week from one of my 40-something members with three younger children: "Thank you for continuing to provide church services for all of us to watch." 

When this pandemic shut-down is past us, I know that my leadership will be committed to upgrading what I am doing now on a non-existent budget. But right now I am the only real connection with what they would otherwise not see or experience, a lifeline of normalcy in a world turned upside down. 

I realize that seeing what I live stream is a far cry from what can and maybe should be done.  I hope one day to do more.  But right now it is the only thing I can do to minister to them and remind them that although their church is empty, it is used, and that that bell that rings lets our neighborhood know that this virus did not shut down worship.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI