Monday, May 06, 2013
Turning the Page
I work as parish administrator for a small Episcopal church; my position is part-time: five hours per day, four days per week. I am learning to say "senior warden" instead of "council president," "vestry" instead of "church council," and "rector" rather than "pastor." Otherwise, the subject matter is pretty familiar!
My commute to the school, I used to tease, was "seven minutes, eight if the traffic is bad." My commute to the church is much longer ;-) -- ten minutes, eleven if I hit the lights wrong. My office has a window out into the world, something I'd missed for the past twelve years.I have children who are older than the rector, whohas five little ones of his own. The congregation is small, and the church rents out the sanctuary to a Pentecostal-style denomination for a service later on Sunday.
Space is also rented to a small, private school, very much in contrast to the school I left. Whereas the students at the school I left were in many cases people of privilege (with tuition nearly $30,000 per year in some grades), people with great ambitions (99-100% college attendance following graduation), the students in this little school are among the most marginalized. They are all autistic. With a nearly 1:1 teacher:pupil ratio, I am discovering what one branch of sainthood is. These men and women appear to have infinite patience and unfailing optimism. I'm going to learn a lot as I experience this new-to-me population.
Posted by Nancy Near Philadelphia on Monday, May 06, 2013