Wednesday, January 16, 2008

First Order of the New Order

Minutes of the Tewkesbury Ward
Bishop Aitch, Communing

The meeting was briefly called to order at 9:39 a.m. on January 16, 2007.

Bishop Aitch outlined her vision for the Tewkesbury Ward (hereafter referred as "the ward.") As there were several actionable items, these will be reported last.

The following individuals have selected the following callings and/or roles for themselves within the ward:

Sister Mary Lisa, Gospel Essentials Instructor (see the comments from the previous post for an outline of this year's curriculum)
NG, Programs-at-the-Door Hander-Outer
Jess, Very Important Pew Person
Wicked H, Choir Member and Choir Director
Lolatini, Happy Hour Coordinator and Hoop Goddess
Phoebe, Custodian of the Holy Damn Cat and Monthly Sermonizer; also officially designated Habitually Late Attender.
Jay Em Tee, Hall Roamer and The Holy Goat
ME, Leader of the Brunch, Booze, and Books Book Group; Young Women's Critical Thinking Development Advisor, and Girl's Camp Denizen; also Alto in the Choir
Cele, Partaker of the Chocolate Massages and Krispy Kremes being offered in Sister Mary Lisa's Gospel Essentials Class and Alto in the Choir
Di, Colorful Crazy Person and Keeper of the New Order Fashion; also occasional host of the ward knitting group, Stitch 'n Bitch, as well as Game Night Coordinator
Lucy, Ward Organist
Bee, Director of Comedy and Host of the Buddhist Meditation Open-Mike Nights
Abgue, Director of Transformative and Healing Touch and Leader of the Deliverance Syndicate (a replacement for and improvement on Relief Society)
JaneAnnchovy, Gospel Doctrine Reconstruction Teacher and Choir member, as well as occasional soloist
Mavis, Alternate Choir Director
JulieAnn, Painter of Wooden Thingys

A suggestion was made by ME that the hymnal be revised and include "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing."

Having compiled this list of participants and callings, Bishop Aitch then outlined her vision for the ward. (Again, see the comments in the aforementioned previous entry for a full report.)

It was decided that all callings shall be the choice of the individual. Furthermore, any callings not filled would be considered redundant until such time as someone chooses to perform said redundancy. The one exception is Ward Clerk. A search committee was considered but then dismissed and, unless someone steps forward, Bishop Aitch will just pick someone.

It was also decided that Visiting Teaching would be a group activity and would be done in a single night called "Ward Meeting Get Together." All required meetings would be held at once and with rapid results. Dinner and a movie will follow and conclude all get-togethers.

Further, tithing will support charitable events and will be high profile. Funds raised from childcare will subsidize the upkeep of churches. Intellectual pursuit will be rewarded. Doctrine and history will be redefined and discussed with honesty. Bishop Aitch stressed that whitewashing is prohibited.

As the most significant order of business, the Bishop reported that the ward will play an active role in reparations to Native Americans, "including, but not limited to, apologizing for taking the youth off the reservation and stripping them of culture, language, rituals and identity."

Finally, the first Sunday of every month--which has heretofore been characterized by fasting and blathering--shall be a "Fast and Testimony Picnic." Again, to quote Bishop Aitch: "Food will be served fast and testimony will be spontaneous by having people contribute one sentence to the collective testimony. Extra points are awarded for creative testimony involving singing or costume change or delivered by 'charade' method."

The next meeting will be held whenever we feel like it.

Having no further business, no objections, and no additional suggestions, the meeting was adjourned at 10:05 AM. Please note: Adjournment of the meeting does not imply business, objections, or suggestions can not be made. Please note further that the floor remains open at all times for participants to designate callings of their choosing.

Submitted this 16th day of January in the 15th year of the Holy Damned Cat, 2007.

Signed and Respectfully Submitted,

The Holy Goat


Lucy said...

I LOVE this. I'm changing over my membership!

di said...

There better be drinking at the MadLibs/Charades Testimony and Fast Picnic...and also at that monthly meeting where we do all the business. There shouldn't be business without wine, women and song.

And games -- lotsa games!!

How did I get that fashion nomination? I can barely dress myself in an acceptable manner from day to day.

Bee said...

Is there an opening for Comedy Director? I'd like that. My first act as CD will be to have a Buddhist Meditation with Open-Mike Night.

Jess said...

I love my role, seriously. It's the perfect title. Thanks.

Di said...

Also, let it be noted that I only like A Mighty Fortress and Lead Kindly Light, and I can manage Redeemer of Israel (and most of the hymns from the Book of Common Prayer) after a cocktail or two.*

But I'm happy to listen to everyone else sing lovely songs they love. I don't know that Come Font one. :-O

*For some reason, Tewkesy's New Religious Movement makes me think about loads of alcohol. I don't even drink that much. Maybe it's the thought of ANY church that does it. Or the fact that I used to sraight-up fantasize about getting my fellow mos drunk and happy sometimes. I'm happy to substitute pot for alcohol as needed.

Di said...

Oh. My. Spider Pig.


*Rushes out to buy Depends for first meeting*

Phoenix Touch said...

It sounds like ME is going to be very busy. I am wondering if she would consider a co-instructor of the Young Women.

I imagine teaching the generation following us how to REALLY be women!

Go ahead... put your hands on yourself!

Go ahead... get a career you love!

Go ahead... kiss that boy OR girl!


Go ahead... Be a mother OR a wife OR a lover OR a career woman OR ALL OF IT... either way you are still Divinely Blessed!

(don't mind that rattling... it's the soapbox.)


PS... actually, I changed my mind. ME can take on the Young Women. I am going to take on my peers! How about a Deliverance Syndicate Leader!!! Same lesson plan.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Lucy: Excellent!

Di: I'm adding "Game Organizer" to your list of callings. As for the fashion role, you got that because you said you were going to wear pants to church. Aside from leading in that manner, you don't have to do much more except encourage us to break out of prescribed habits and expectations.

Bee: It's all yours. I know I'll be ROFLMAO all.the.time!

Jess: Excellent! While you're at it, if you'd like to arrange the pews in a formation other than the regular rows, feel free!

Di, again: I'll second your motion on the hymns and imbibing. And we'll make sure there are plenty of Depends around for everyone. Twould be lovely if we could get our friend, Aunty Mark, to be our first standup at the Buddhist Meditation Open-Mike Night. If you think Bee is hilarious, Aunty Mark will have you gasping for dear life. (Bee would agree, by the way, right Bee?)

Abgue: It's official. You're the Deliverance Syndicate Leader. I'll update the minutes to reflect this accordingly!

Phoenix Touch said...

Deliverance Syndicate...

I crack myself up. LOL

LG said...

I'm wondering if anyone would be offended if we also added a band? Not that we have to get rid of the choir, but I'd love to get a band together (I play a few instruments) for those really rockin' numbers. Musicians and singers alike are invited. Practice is after Happy Hour (or The Hour of Happiness, if that sounds a little more zen to you folks).

I also move to have applause and even whistling after the songs you like. I was the kid who clapped after every musical number and got shushed, so maybe I'm just bitter.

Phoenix Touch said...

I am so TOTALLY with LG! There most definitely HAS to be a band complete with amps and electric guitars and DRUMS!

(on a side note, a few weeks ago I went to go support a friend ON A SUNDAY who was PERFORMING in a church program. I went, not knowing what to expect, not having been to ANY church nay on five years now. This particular friend is a GodSend to the musical world and she can rock any house... even God's. She played her didgeridoo, her DRUMS, her guitar and sang a sweet little song called "Shake Your Groove Thing" IN CHURCH! I sat there, jaw agape and completely stunned that this was acceptable in their church. I almost considered joining!!!) LOL

Wicked H said...

This is Fabulous! Add a band, the more musical the better.

I play a mean triangle, I am just sayin.....

Oh! I also still have my white cotton gloves from my bell ringing days, so hawt!

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

LG: I'm sure the addition of some band pieces would be welcome. And I'm all for applause and cheering! Yeaaaaaaah!!

Abgue: Is there a particular instrument you'd like to play?

Wicked: A triangle or bells, either would be nice.

Anonymous said...

Reading this is the most fun I've had all day!!

I get it, Di -- the Depends urge. 'bout peed myself reading this.

In addition to my duties as Thy Holy Damn Cat Custodian and Sermonizer, I want to be the Habitually Late Attender. Looks like I met my goal for today because everyone has already had a laugh and gone home.

Sister Tewkes, put me down for an IOU on tithing, and for first place in line for Sacrament Meeting Happy Hour. Grapefruitini stirred, not shaken.

- Phoebe/THDCC

Cele said...

grapefruitini? Oh she is good. I'm toasting to the official organized disorganization a ward. Girls you rock.

hm-uk said...

I love this congregation! Do you think that we could get away with calling ourselves 'Reformed Mormons', like the Reformed Jewish synagogues do? We still have the cultural references and the lingo but none of the baggage.

I'm thinking that instead of temple garments, Depends could be the new 'holy clothing'. Replace the beehive logo with the Depends one - I never really got on with bees anyway, with the exception of our NEW, FABULOUS Comedy Director (budum-bum, ting*)!!! Ommmm...

What if we had a hymnal that was interspersed with cocktail recipes and we had to have a group 'taster' in between songs? You'd definitely have to have a group bus that took everyone home from church, wouldn't you, especially if you had the standard three hymn service!

hm-uk said...

I also like the idea of a band and would like to know if I can offer my services on the kazoo or the tambourine...

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Oooooh. Good God! This is too much. It's 6:00 in the morning and I'm trying really hard not to laugh out loud!

Yes, Pheebs, you can be the habitually late attender. As for tithing, I think we're going dutch on that.

Bishop Aitch: I think we should totally call ourselves 'Reformed Mormons.'

As for new supershorts... I say we make them an as needed/wanted requirement only. (And good Bee-line [har!] there! She'll like that one!)

And your suggestion for the hymnal would definitely make singing the hymns in their current, lower, dirge-like register much more enjoyable. Hey, maybe we could get Lucy, Wicked H, and the choir to work on getting said hymns back up in a better key and tempo!

And yes, Aitch, a kazoo and tambourine are a must.

Cele: Cheers to our disorganized organization!

J.M. Tewkesbury said...


If you the Habitually Late Attender (HLA), this means we'll have to reserve the front row/pew exclusively for your use at your discretion. I mean, what good is an HLA if they don't make a wee bit of fanfare about being an HLA?

Of course, knowing you, you'll just slip into the pew at the back so as not to cause a stir and call attention to yourself. ;-)

(I'm calling to mind the ward I grew up in Provo. The McClouds were the HLA family in the ward and they sat in the very front row. I don't think they ever arrived before the end of the first hymn, but it was known that they'd be arriving and that they'd sit on the front row, so no one sat there. If you did make the mistake of sitting there, it was either because you were a visitor and clueless or because you were feeling rebellious. If it was the latter, you got that Jimmy Stewart look in "Shenandoah" and you'd immediately decamp to a new pew. I have a hard time imagining you doing that, though.)

LG said...

Phoebe, I make an excellent anythingtini, so I'll have my shaker ready for your grapefruitini.

This band is going to really jam. I'm excited about the instruments we have going on! I'm volunteering myself for the bongos.

Phoenix Touch said...

Hell yes! I will be there with my Djembe! (For the unawares, that is an African drum) Bring on the drums, baby!!!

hm-uk said...

Could you imagine 'I am a Child of god/goddess/inspired universe/spiderpig' played on the bongos, djembe and kazoo?

How about we call ourselves the Reformons...

Phoenix Touch said...


There is DEFINITELY a reason you have been called to preside as Bishop! Reformons?!?!?!? Oh! Good god! Di, where are the Depends?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Phoebe stumbles late into the meeting, holding a martini glass. She pauses at a pew half way to the front and bends over to whisper in someone's ear:

"Hey ... You. (hic) You sher godda lodda nerve wearing a low-cut red dress when you KNOW I'm the attention whore. You ... you AM-inal"

She continues on to the front of the chapel, and falls into the first pew.

The ward finishes singing "Bringing in the Steves" accompanied by kazoo and bike horn.

Phoebe climbs to the podium and says,

"I would be remiss this day if I didn't tell you that I love you guys, and thanks for enabling my budding alcoholism."

- Phoebe

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

OMG! And so the Fast and Testimony Picnic begins.

Phoebe... I love you!

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Goddamn if I don't wanna be the bus driver.

Adriana Velez said...

Aw, crap, I missed out. This is what I get for missing church too many times in a row.

I guess I'm the ward "less active" sister. Send the missionaries!

JulieAnn Henneman said...

I feel blessed.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

SML: I guess we could get a bus and you can drive it! But only if we can paint brilliant, blindingly fantastic purple!

Adriana: It's never too late! Name your calling!

JulieAnn: We're so blessed to have you. Euwww. Wait, that sound awfully spe-chul, didn't it? How about this: We're happy to have you!