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CatechumensFather Patrick, Feel free to correct me where needed.

On Pentecost Sunday our friends, Mark and Barb got blessed and prayed over to become catecumens at St. Peter the Apostle, Antiochian Orthodox Church. Mark’s two sons and his daughter-in-law came to witness and experience this day with all of us.  There was no official announcement of what was about to happen. We had been going through the Matins service of bible readings, hymns and prayer… I am still unfamiliar with the services, so I did not know that Matins was over, or if it was(?)… then Father Patrick, with Jackson carrying a candle (the long one that the alter boys carry) headed straight down the center of the room. At first I did not know what was going on. (It seems like the Orthodox Church is kind of like a box of Cracker Jacks… there is a surprise in every service. Well, for me there is, because Orthodoxy is so new to me.) Then I saw Father Patrick smile at Mark and Barb, who were behind me, and motion for them to go to the doors.  They stood in front of the doors, facing in toward the altar. Their faces were full of joy. Big smiles and excited eyes flashing up at Father Patrick in eager anticipation. He marked them with the sign of the cross, prayed over them and then before I knew it… it was done. I wonder what they were thinking…  Maybe they will blog about it.  I am happy for them. They looked peaceful afterward. 

When Father Patrick was talking about Pentecost in his homily,  he compared it to the headwaters of the Sacramento River. He used to live by the headwaters. There is a bubbling spring where water comes up out of the ground at this park in Mt. Shasta. (view pictures of Sacramento River and headwaters, here on wikipedia) It is not a lot of water but it makes a lot of noise. As the water moves on down toward the sea, it gaines more water from streams and rivers and lakes. As the water gets deeper and wider, it gets quieter.  [edited to say…I don’t think this analogy came up in his Sunday homily, I think Fr. Patrick talked about this on Saturday night at Vespers… sorry for the confusion]

Pentecost began when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles. It began rather noisily, with much talking and signs. Talking in many different languages. Talking that drew people to come near the house where they heard it emanating from. Talking that was at first considered drunken babble… but then was recognized as many languages pouring out in worship to God. Babble that drew men toward God and toward unity, as opposed to the “babble” that was a sign of separation from God and disunity between people, which is what happened at the Tower of Babel. From that day of Pentecost the stream of the Holy Spirit working through God’s people began to grow deeper and wider, and if the analogy of the Sacramento River holds true, it should be quieter and stronger too. 

I pray that as Mark and Barb pursue their walk with God in the Orthodox church that they will notice that deepening, strengthening and quieting of their faith and of the Holy Spirit working in them.   

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Ahhhh!  I feel like I can breathe easier! The “school year” is over. Now we have to get through six weeks of summer school. Three weeks for our 14 year old and three weeks for our 16 year old. I woke up at 6:05am this morning and got our 14 year old up. The rest of the kids got to sleep in. I bet that was nice. I won’t be jealous because I am glad that I got a chance to be alone with my  eldest daughter. She is such a sweet and bubbly girl (most of the time). This morning with her was fun. She is excited about going into HIGH SCHOOL. I guess summer school is a good “foot in the door” experience for her to get acquainted with the campus and some of the students and teachers. I feel glad that her big brother will be there to watch over her when school really starts up in September.  He says that he has a few friends that have promised to watch out for her too. What a neat brother he is!  I love to see our kids interacting. They really are friends with each other. I hope that they can maintain their friendships with each other as they grow up.  I know that it is not necessary, but it seems good. 

Summer is a wonderful time for us. It is time to relax together, to work on projects together and to interact with less outside stressors like, homework, performances and report cards. 

Even if we don’t get to go camping or do a lot of beach trips and stuff because of the price of gas, I will enjoy this summer with my kids and Jason. It is a lovely time of rest from school. Ahhhh, Summer Vacation! I just wish I had a hammock.

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