Sunday, May 22, 2016

"To be their secretary? I don’t think so."

(The title is a line from...Hamilton. Because what else would it be from?)

Last week the second counsellor of the bishopric jumped up at the end of sacrament meeting to give "one last announcement," which was that the bishopric would be reorganized the following Sunday. Our bishop had been serving for five years, which is about the upper limit of tenure for a bishop (it's a time intensive calling; no one wants it for forever), so this announcement wasn't exactly unexpected. Knowing a week in advance was a little unusual, though, since we're not really supposed to speculate about who's going to be called next. But who can even help themselves after an announcement like that?

And then Saturday morning Andrew's phone rang.

"Yes. Yes. Yes," he said. "Sure. 10:15? That will be fine. Yes. Alright, see you then."

He hung up the phone.

"Oh, no," he said.

"Who was that?" I asked.

"The stake president," he said.

"Oh, no," I said.

"He wants to meet with me...and with you...before church tomorrow."

"Oh, no!" I said.

If we hadn't been speculating before that phone call we were certainly speculating after it because do you know who you don't want to get a phone call from after an announcement of that nature? The stake president.

And so we speculated. We quickly ruled out bishop and 95% ruled out counsellor (because surely you'd need more than 24 hours notice for a calling like that).

"Executive secretary, then," I said.

"Or it could just be a random stake calling," Andrew said.

"I guess so," I said. "But why would they do that this Sunday?"

"Killing two birds with one stone?" Andrew posited.

"My money's still on executive secretary," I said.

"But who would call me?" Andrew wondered.

He's been in primary for the past few years and had recently begun feeling that he was a bit on the periphery of things (especially a couple of weeks ago when someone compassionately asked me if Andrew was "ever going to make it back to church"; I was like, ", he makes it every week...").* Sometimes that's just how it goes when you're serving in primary (though, for the record, I think primary is a great place to be, primary workers do, at times, feel invisible).

Anyway, after thinking for a few minutes, Andrew said, "It's Ken."

My thoughts had already moved on from the conversation so I said, "What?"

"The new bishop—it's Ken."

"Really? I dunno..."

I didn't have any counter-guesses. I'm not very good at speculating about these kinds of things, though I did think to myself that it would be hilarious to text Justus (he's the now-former second counsellor and is currently out of town at his brother's wedding) to congratulate him on being sustained as the new bishop of the ward because he had me sustained to a new calling (that I hadn't even been asked about) while I was out of town a couple of years ago. And it would have been hilarious, too, but I didn't do it because when the new callings were made I suddenly realized that I needed someone to cover for me for music time in primary (I was covering for my friend Marian (Justus's wife, who is obviously also out of town at that wedding)) since (spoiler alert) I had to go to watch Andrew be set apart after sacrament meeting.

So Laura covered for me (when I was supposed to be covering for Marian).

Backtracking...we made it to the church by 10:15 and then, while Zoë and Benjamin wrestled on the floor of the classroom we met in (those two were the epitome of reverence today...not), the rest of us sat reverently and quietly while Andrew was extended the call (to be executive secretary for, yes, Ken Bishop). And then we had choir practice. And then we had sacrament meeting. And then Andrew was set apart. And then we had the rest of church. And then we had some (surprise) training after church.

By 3:00 our kids were dying because that's a whole lot of time to be expected to be on your best, most reverent behaviour for when you're any age, but especially when you're...three. (In full disclosure they didn't mind the last hour because we sent them all outside to play with the Green kids (their dad's the new second counsellor (and their mom had a bag of jolly ranchers, which she split among the kids (lunch of champions))).

There will be a few hiccups as we get used to the new norm. For example, I'll have to get the kids ready for church on my own (we'll see how that goes) and since we only have one car Andrew will be taking the scooter to church now. But at the end of the day it boils down to this: booking the church for Trading Tables just got a whole lot easier. So, score!

* Disclaimer: I found this encounter hilarious.


  1. Same amount of meetings, none of the glory or power ;). Haha, congrats on your new calling Andrew :)