Welcoming the Stranger, part II

OK, here’s what really happened at Grace Church yesterday. Between services, our sexton ran through the office and told me that there had been a leak in the pantry closet that had been stopped. I thought nothing of it, but a few minutes later, Corrie came up into the office to tell me that all hell had broken loose downstairs. A pipe had burst, the second time, and was spraying all over the closet where we stored food for our First Monday meals.

I went downstairs to take a look. Indeed, it looked much like a sauna. I called the HVAC company, but it was five minutes before the start of the 10:00 service, and I had other things on my mind. Just before the beginning of service, I saw one of our members who works as a carpenter and asked him to investigate. After the service, after greeting visitors, doing adult forum with newcomers, Eucharist with our Hispanic congregation, I made my way back to the Guild Hall and to the kitchen. Things were somewhat in order. The leak was stopped; the closet had been cleared. Corrie, having had a sauna, was wearing a shirt borrowed from the sexton. But there were things I had missed.

Apparently, disrupted by the water and the removal of everything from the closet was a hibernating bat. There was a conniption. Kitchen tongs were involved,wielded by the organist. But fortunately, Grace’s usual weapon against bats, a tennis racket, was not implemented. The bat was taken out of doors. Whether it survives, we don’t know. Although reports are that it flew away. Perhaps it’s now in the bell tower.

As our sexton went in the closet to check on things after the bat, our organist suggested that there might be a coyote there as well. Who knows?

Hospitality means many things, but I don’t think it means welcoming the bat and the coyote.

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