5482bmcc I’m in a huge big hurry today, and cannot take time to write. Let me just mention that I cut out the jacket from this pattern yesterday, between the meeting and the bi-state Scrabulous game. I might sew it up today.

Oh, and Ozarque has a particularly interesting post over at her place.

I may come back this afternoon, but I have to see my boys off on their insane camping trip, and I cannot sing for the early service in my jammies, either, even though they are nice peach silk ones.



1WGMUSHRMthumbnailI came back. I am doing the jacket here in a nice gray twill from the clearance table at Hancock’s, in the spirit of a wearable (I hope) muslin. I have all the major seams done, and nothing horrible has happened yet, so I am being cautiously optimistic. If it goes together well, I will make it again in the lovely mushroom wool gabardine that  was the big splurge for SWAP Part III. (See its unexciting picture at left.) I started the SWAP last summer before the time crunch at my house…

(Quick update: my eldest left her husband, came home to live, and moved away again; my older boy started college and quit it again to be a rock star; and I started a business. These things took up 7a lot of time. You might not have noticed.)

Anyway, this was a picture from last August or so, of the spruce wool that became a lovely jacket and a skirt which is still waiting to be hemmed, the gray wool that became Ivy and the nice rayon print that became an unsuccessful skirt which is waiting to be redeemed. So that is the sum total of progress on the SWAP Part III, but it is back in the land of the WIP rather than the UFO, so that’s good.

As for the music… You may recall (if you always read my blog and have total recall) that I am the leader of the new music ministry team at my church. In the course of a couple of meetings, I have learned the goals for this team, and one of them is to improve the music at the early service.

The congregation wants the music improved, and that is the upper layer of the thing. I went to the early service this morning, sang, talked with people, and between the two services I put my team together. The upper layer of the team’s mission was received joyfully.

The second layer is an intention on the part of the pastor and several committees to increase the attendance at the early service, and no one will object to that, so I didn’t bring it up.

But there are further layers, and that was interesting. Since I do not attend that service, I was somewhat in the position of the visiting consultant. It became clear pretty quickly that in this case the CEO was not confiding much in the rank and file, where the further layers of intention are concerned.

A little surprising, but okay. I can work with that.

As an outsider, I also got to see all the interesting undertones of relationships. Who doesn’t want to work with whom. “He gives it away, but then he takes it back.” “You’ll have to rein her in.” Who intends to do God’s work. Who is just doing his job. “Oh — he’s going to be involved?” Whose feelings have been hurt. Who is worried about her status.

I went around strongly projecting  the following message: “I am harmless and useful.” Whatever the power structure is here, I attempted to convey, I will not disturb it.

At the meetings, I noticed who makes speeches, who talks a lot, who likes to argue, who thinks meetings are fun. I don’t want them on my team. I tried to discern, as much as a newcomer can, what the sides were, and to make sure to invite people from each camp. No one refused to play on my team.

My own hidden agenda is not very sinister: I want to improve the quality of the music. I have some allies in this. No one will mind if we do that, as long as we don’t step on anyone’s toes while we do it.

I believe that we can do that, just for the general betterment of the world.

But never mind the secret part. The overt part of the plan seems pretty simple at this point. There are two clear mandates from the congregation so far, and both seem to me to be completely realistic. People want a richer music program for the early service, and more musical options for the kids. I have plans for how to achieve both these things.

I’m writing all this so that I can come back next year and see that I thought I could facilitate these goals easily without getting ensnared in the human dramas which are doubtless lurking around where I can’t see them, causing any trouble, or making any enemies. At that point, I can either see that I was right and be happy at how well it worked out, or laugh at my past self for thinking such a foolish thing.