If Father Wesley Smith is at the rectory right now emptying a bottle of Tums into his gullet I would not be surprised. I believe, once again, the Women of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church have overdone it. Gleefully. We don’t know any other way.
Father Wesley is our interim rector at St. Paul’s. His first Sunday was today. He preached a fantastic sermon all from memory. The choir. Oh, my Lord, the choir. We were all in tears during the offertory anthem and almost burst into applause at the end, which Episcopalians do not do. Lots of God Moments going on this morning.
Because St. Paul’s is a historic church, we don’t have room for everyone at one service so we have four. And that meant four receptions for Father Wesley. And we’re not talking punch and cookies. We don’t do punch and cookies. We do full-on, blow-out-the-windows gala receptions. At all times. Hospitality chair Leslie Fraser coordinated all of them and I do not believe there was a single box of gourmet crackers or block of cream cheese left in all of Williamson County.
So here’s a little visual tour of the astonishing precision of the Women of St. Paul’s (including honorary member son Noah) and the fortitude of poor Father Wesley, who will probably need one of those 3-day detox cleanses in the next couple of days.
Here he is. Smiling like the pro priest he is at the tail end of reception number two. I felt like the stranger stalker lady asking for a photo, but sadly for him, he’ll get used to it. St. Paul’s is some of my best material.
We had relatively (to us) small receptions after the 7:30 and 8:45 services. The Mac Daddy always comes after the 11. It is where Episcopalians come into their own because it is after noon and wine is served!
First, there are multiple tea sandwiches to be prepared and plated. Noah is allowed to assist in this endeavor. He told me today that as a child he was very intimidated by this whole process, as well he should be. It is serious business.
Ellen Kirk begins meticulously laying out layers of cheese on a cheese tray. Cheese is big in the Episcopal Church. And no Kraft singles.
There are no cartons of orange juice or jugs of tea at a St. Paul’s reception. No, no, no. All liquids to be consumed either have to be contained in glass dispensers or wine bottles. Julie Reinhardt completely understands this. Even though they are ridiculously heavy.
All the flowers are personally arranged by Wanda Woolen.
Who then has a glass of Chardonnay because, well, it’s after noon for goodness sake.
Needless to say, everything was impeccable.
Perfection. That is the bar we set for ourselves. Father Wesley will be with us until we call a new permanent rector, which could take up to two years. I hope he is up for this.