January 29, 2015

A bit of Adelaide II

As an apology for not outputting for the last couple of years, and as a thank you to those who posted reviews for me, here is a teaser from Adelaide II, right now known as The Shepherd's Gift.

Evensong over she grabbed everything from her box on Emma’s desk, pulled Malik’s pile out of Emma’s inbox and added everything to the diocesan financial statistics binder that Emma had made up for her and started up the narrow staircase to her loft.

She looked down over her shoulder at the door to the office to confirm that all the bolts were shut.  She wanted to make sure she had no lip from Emma in the morning.

She squeezed in the door to the loft making sure Arthur didn’t escape.  He’d become an escape artist of late, probably trying to return home to Welborn.  She didn’t blame him.  After today she might want to return home to Welborn.

Fully intending to eat dinner out of the microwave, she took a shower and sat down at her desk with the papers with Arthur as a paperweight.

She studied Malik’s suggestions marked them up with stickies.  He was good.  Very good.  Not sure she deserved him.  Already the “interim” part of his titles had been erased from her brain.  She was trying not to look at Emma’s fat binder so next she sorted through her inbox.

There were three formal pleas for funds from three very small parishes in the mountains.  She moved them to Emma’s binder. 

There was a letter from a discernment committee recommending one of their parishioners for postulancy as a priest.  She carefully read the recommendation.  The person would need financial support.  She had a fund designated for support for candidates but this person wanted to go to Seminary in California. She wrote a note to Emma to have her set up an interview with the recommended person.  The major question in her mind was whether she wanted to support anyone for holy orders who would not be staying within the diocese.  Should she be requiring them to sign a letter of intent to stay in the diocese?  Could she require him to go to school locally and reduce the diocese’s financial liability?

The next sheet was pink and was typed in Emma’s usual style, formally addressed to her and signed with Emma’s full name.

To: Bishop Adelaide Wasserstein

From: Emma Jane Baron



From time to time I will have questions that I think require your attention.  They will be placed in your box on these pink sheets.


I just wanted to establish this form of communication.


Emma Jane Baron


Adelaide snorted and reworded the communication to “read this or else.”

The next letter saddened her.  It was from an 80 year old priest in a small town in the west of the diocese.  He’d retired years earlier but taken on his old church again as a supply priest when they couldn’t afford to hire a full time priest.

Now he had been diagnosed with end stage lung cancer and needed to let his church down easy.  He was formally requesting time to come and see her here in Turner City.

Adelaide wrote a note to herself to call him and then go visit him and perhaps his church on the next available Sunday.

Pink sheet.


To: Bishop Adelaide Wasserstein

From: Emma Jane Baron

Subject: Need to plan visitation schedule


Emma Jane Baron


Adelaide put on her slippers and crept down the stairs.  She found that every lockable cabinet and drawer in the place was locked but, using her office skills acquired during her years in Wall Street, she jimmied open the cabinet where Emma kept the paper and found a packet of a particularly obnoxious puke green color which she hijacked up to the apartment.


To: Emma Jane Baron

From: Bishop Adelaide Wasserstein


Subject: Pink memos

Great idea.  My replies will be on puke green.

I leave the visitation schedule in your capable hands.  Leave me one blank Sunday each month for emergencies.  Schedule me a visit ASAP with the priests attached.


Bishop Adelaide Wasserstein.


There was a second visitation request which she clipped to her green memo and then another pink memo.


To: Bishop Adelaide Wasserstein

From: Emma Jane Baron

Subject: Bishop Cutter


He needs a part time secretary.  Suggest you rescue Maria Hernandez from Burger King.  She could also staff the Hispanic ministries committee and maybe the Diocesan Ministry School.


Hopefully she can type.


Emma Jane Baron


What would she do without Emma?  She scrawled HIRE HER across the pink sheet.

Adelaide started to look over what she now called the insolvency binder but she knew that she was now totally incapable of making figures stick in her brain.

She stopped for a moment to pray.

“Dear Lord help me to, well, do the right thing.  Help me to understand the mission of the church and to guide the people of your church to that mission.  Help me to listen for you and know your leadings.  Just help me. Amen.”

Then she scrawled on another blank piece of paper: “Comprehensive plan”, stumbled to her bed and fell asleep despite the fact that the lump she had crashed on was a hissing ball of fur.
Copywrite 2015  Christina K. Wible

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