Holy Shit! All these people!: Religious AF's 1st Temple Eucharist (2019)
BDSM Safety - Basics of Kinky Play
Sparkling Disco Party
Building an Off Grid House
Lingerie Beer-Tea Party
Reiki Energy and Sound Healing
Above are just some of the activities listed for noon on Tuesday at Burning Man. We had four Temple services. Tuesday was our first. We were expecting 15 or so people to come to the service. With all that goes on, and the difficulty of communicating events and getting anywhere on time, 15 is a really good turnout. It was what we had the previous year - our first year as a camp.
This year we had over 70. We didn't plan for that many. The service was structured like a regular Sunday service with readings, sermon, prayers and communion. Except we added a time after the prayers for people to come forward for individual prayers and a blessing. That made sense when we were expecting 15 people and not all would come forward. But we had over 70. And they all came forward. And lingered. They wanted real prayer. Real blessing. No drive by platitudes. There were tears. And hugs.
It was terrible. While the Holy Spirit was all over it, I was an anxious mess. It was taking way too long. We were in the heat of the day with no seating, and this part of the service, which was supposed to be short was going on, and on, and on, and on.
Nobody left. Nobody got their blessing and walked away. They all stayed. And were present to each other.
During this prayer/blessing time, we were singing a Taize chant. Over and over and over again. My sister, Michelle, who was helping to lead the chant realize we hadn't planned music to cover a long period of time. That's when Lauren appeared. She was a recently baptized, Episcopal, professional opera singer and virgin Burner who was thrilled to learn we were having the service. She asked Michelle if she could join her, and then she stepped up. It was spectacular. Lauren became an active part of all of our services and would come to the chapel at our camp to practice and warm up for performances.
When the blessing part was over, we went straight into the communion service. At the transition to communion, everybody stayed. And after the Great Thanksgiving, people came up for communion and then stayed for the final blessing.
It was a breathtaking start to a rich and full week of worship, prayer, blessing and conversation. And things just got better as the week progressed.