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Steaming Sunday

This seems to be my weekend for a variety of religious experience.

On Friday, I led the evening service for the first time ever at my synagogue. It's the shortest & most beautiful service of the week, with psalms that lead us to the peace of the Sabbath. It was a lot of work to prepare, maybe 2 dozen melodies to (try to) master, but very rewarding: Prayer, not performance.

On Saturday I read my longest-read ever & one of my favorites, the Journeys at the end of Numbers, part of which is in a special melody.

This morning, the hottest day of the year so far & by far, I went to Xavier Catholic Church with my friend Alison. I thought it was going to be the last time I'd see her before she & her husband move to Colorado, but now it looks like I might drive out with her since he has to go earlier than expected. Yay! a summer road trip! Xavier is Johnny's high-school church, very beautiful, with smart priests. I had many questions, like why is the 23rd psalm called "the grail" & why did they read from Jeremiah, which we read next Sunday on Tisha B'Av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. Coincidence?

And this afternoon I'm going to a Baptist church in Englewood, NJ, for the funeral of my dear friend Pauline's mother. Her whole family has always embraced me, and I have to be there, although there seems to be no bus back so I hope I can either find a ride or taxi back to the George Washington Bridge afterwards, even if it means I have to walk over it in this awful heat. I've been to Pauline's church before and been welcomed as if they had been waiting all their lives for me.
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