Written October, 2009.*
Apparently, daylight savings went into effect last Saturday at midnight. Nobody told us. As an Arizonan, I have never had to deal with the whole daylight savings ordeal; never had to figure out which way to change my clock, never wondered what would happen if I forgot. Time travel of the most man-made kind, and iit did not even remotely exist in my world. Simply not an issue.
So, I wake up, put on my Sunday best, and go to church, just as I have been doing for the past month. I arrive, and the door is locked. No sounds of chairs scraping inside, no chatter of the kidlets who go to Sunday school. I check my phone clock. 10:25 a.m. The service starts at 10:30. I am confused. I turn around and see a portly man walking towards me. He has the build of a linebacker, but is wearing a large cross necklace, in the design of the 7th c AD, one of those squarish ones.
“Are you the bishop?” I ask, knowing that that weekend the Bishop of the Anglican Communion of American Churches in Europe was supposed to be making a stop at the little Episcopal mission church in Orvieto.
“Yes, I am,” he says.
“I don’t know why nobody’s here, but it’s all locked,” I say apologetically, as if it were my fault that something had gone wrong. He looks at his wristwatch.
“Well, it’s only 9:30,” he replies. I feel like such an idiot.“Would you like to get some coffee before the service?” He offers.
And that was how I ended up having coffee with the bishop that Sunday. I guess everything happens for a reason, because if I had changed my clocks as everyone else in town knew to do, I would have met him only in passing at the service. This way, I got a free hot chocolate from Montanucci (where I never go because it’s overpriced and they seriously rip off tourists) and he dropped some church-related knowledge on me.
Bishop Whalen also told me a bit about the Church of the Resurrection’s past (that’s the name of the Episcopal mission in Orvieto—the difference between a mission and a parish is that a parish is financially independent, whereas a mission is still receiving support from the diocese to function until it grows enough to support itself).
The priest who began this mission a few years ago was an American priest who I never got to meet, but she sounded lovely. Bishop Whalen told me about how, in his position, he serves as liaison for the Vatican and the Catholic parishes. Apparently the Catholic bishop in Orvieto had been very supportive of the Episcopal/Anglican community, and it was he who arranged for this female priest to preach in the Orvieto duomo. She was, of course, the first woman to do so. Then, in front of everyone, this Catholic bishop gave her communion. Bishop Whalen told me that the Orvietane women wept.
Note: Since I attended the Church of the Resurrection mission in Orvieto back in 2009, I’m pretty sure it has since closed, as I can’t find a trace of it anywhere online. There is, however, a big Episcopal church in Rome called St. Paul’s Within the Walls. I think they came to Orvieto when I was there in 2007 for a lessons & carols service. But that’s another story.
*I’m trying to edit and improve some of my old posts. This is my first shot.
Have you ever had any surprising experiences due to daylight savings? Share in the comments!