Slideshow image

 At our parish Christmas dinner on Dec. 11th, the Parish Council of St. David and St. Paul Parish performed a reader’s theatre play written in the 1980’s by one of our retired clergy: the Rev. Ruth Taylor, who turned 91 that same week.

Ruth’s play is entitled You in Your Small Corner and offers subtle yet biting commentary on the shortsightedness that can prevail when our focus is too inward in parish life, rather than focusing on finding that mountain-top experience. In other words, it’s easy for us to stay focused inside our small corners of commitment, instead of seeing the bigger picture. In the play, Noah is the only human character He and a number of animals form the Board of the Wild Life Association are having a board meeting as the play unfolds. The Elephant is in charge and is fixated on expanding his office space, and on detailing, indexing, cross-referencing and archiving the records of every minute of the journey. When the tall Giraffe thinks he has spotted land, the elephant says that if he can’t see it, it’s not there.

I enjoyed playing the role of Hen – the officious secretary, and keeper of the food rations, jealously guarding the supplies and bemoaning their scarcity. But once Dove flies off and finds land, Hen changes her tune from scarcity to abundance, wondering what can now be done with all the leftover food! Octopus, who can reach into many pockets at once, is chair of the finance committee, and also makes the epic journey from an excessive focus on scarcity, to an open-hearted approach that trusts in the abundance that the Lord will provide, although perhaps not a measurable and predictable abundance – since when was grace a quantifiable commodity anyways?

Rev. Ruth Taylor never went to college before being ordained to the priesthood over 30 years ago. But she has penetrating insight into the human journey of faith, and her gifts for healing, hymn-writing and play-writing are among the many ways that her ministry continues to bless us. If your parish would like to see the script, and consider putting it on, please get in touch with me at [email protected]. It's delightful fun at any time of the year, as well as providing lots of food for thought.
Image: The cast of You in Your Small Corner, Rev. Ruth Taylor is the woman wearing red and seated in the foreground.