It’s winter; it’s supposed to be the rainy season; but it’s so dry that according to today’s San Francisco Chronicle, five Bay area counties have instituted outdoor burning. Not only have we had about half our normal rainfall so far this season, but the days have been sunny and the air has been drier than usual.

The soil in our garden is nearly as dry as it is in the summer time. When I water the broccoli and greens we have growing, the water quickly sinks out of sight. We try to water our garden with the clean run-off water from the shower, but the soil was so dry last week that the bucket of water from the shower was not enough for the broccoli; I had to fill up the bucket twice more from the hose.

Not working on Christmas? C’mon

I was talking with a friend of mine who’s a music director at a mainline Protestant church (no, not at a Unitarian Universalist congregation). “So do you have to work Christmas day?” I asked.

“Nope,” he said. “They’re not having services on Christmas day.”

“You’re kidding,” I said.

He was not kidding. “We’re not have services on January first either,” he said.

“I don’t understand churches that don’t have services when Christmas falls on a Sunday,” I said. “It’s the sabbath day, of course you have services.”

He nodded tolerantly at my ranting.

“You know,” I continued, “shutting down a church on Christmas day usually has nothing to do with theology, or with the liturgical calendar. It mostly has to do with the senior pastor’s convenience.”

He just grinned. “Maybe, but I’m just as glad,” he said. “It means I get to have two Sundays off in a row.”

“There is that,” I said. Though for my part, I like working when Christmas falls on a Sunday — the people who come to services really want to be there, and it’s always fun. (And yes, we are having services in Palo Alto at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. on Christmas day, with the Forum at 9:00 and brunch at 10:30. Stop by if you’re in the area.)