Author Topic: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest  (Read 9362 times)

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Offline scamandrius

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Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« on: September 22, 2014, 12:16:16 AM »
This has happened before, but today it was especially noteworthy.  Our parish is a moderately sized one, maybe having 300 people or so, but maybe only 50-75 on a typical Sunday.  We have only one priest assigned to our parish, but we have a second priest who is retired western-rite priest who con celebrates pretty much every week when he's not asked to fill in somewhere else.  So, the parish priest serves on the left side (Theotokos side) and the retired WR priest serves on the right.  Typically, more people sit on the left hand side than the right as was the case today.  The line on the right side was half that of the left side.  The ushers were trying to get some of the people on the left to go to the right so that things could be speeded up, but those people  refused.  To me, what difference does it make from which priest you receive the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord?  The answer should be none. Is this not a form of profaning the mysteries? Yet, too many people in our parish seem to think it makes a difference from whom they receive rather than what they are receiving.This same phenomenon even happened when we had a deacon here years back who would also distribute.  I want to bring this up with the priest, but I'm not sure how to broach it. I'm sure many here will tell me to ignore this, but this has to stop.
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014, 12:24:35 AM »
I've ignored usher's direction to go to another priest for communion.  I don't see it as "profaning the mysteries."

Besides, I try to receive communion from a Hierarch, if present.  Helps me address my social anxiety.   :angel:

Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2014, 12:31:11 AM »
Maybe the ushers should randomly hand out slips of paper with "1" and "2" on them.

Or they could put up big signs saying "A-L" and "M-Z" on either side.
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Offline Nephi

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2014, 12:31:24 AM »
I have specifically chosen before to go to a priest on one side instead of a deacon on the other, but that was more because I was making my presence that day known to the priest (it had been a while since I'd seen him and planned to talk to him afterward).

If intentionally refusing to receive communion from one priest over the other is actually parish-wide, then I agree it's an issue, but I'm not sure how big of one.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2014, 12:31:50 AM by Nephi »

Offline Nikolaostheservant

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2014, 12:31:59 AM »
WR priest, what is this~thought its catholic?! dnt understand must look up if not too complicated explain, or a link.
thnx

Offline Nephi

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2014, 12:34:55 AM »
WR priest, what is this~thought its catholic?! dnt understand must look up if not too complicated explain, or a link.
thnx

ROCOR and Antiochians have Western Rite parishes/priests (I believe some OO Churches do as well, even if not in the U.S.). They are not Catholic, although some are former-Catholics, others are former-Anglicans, etc.

Here are a few links:
http://www.antiochian.org/node/22395
http://www.rwrv.org/what_is_the_western_rite.html
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Western_Rite

Offline Nikolaostheservant

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2014, 12:38:54 AM »
WR priest, what is this~thought its catholic?! dnt understand must look up if not too complicated explain, or a link.
thnx

just looked it up on wiki, i think i understand. there is no greek WR curch is there?

And ti get back OT: i try not to be choosy, its the same in either chalis. but i do veer towards the priest i like more, without making a spectical of myself. if the usher says right side, id prob go.

Offline Nikolaostheservant

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2014, 12:40:25 AM »
WR priest, what is this~thought its catholic?! dnt understand must look up if not too complicated explain, or a link.
thnx

ROCOR and Antiochians have Western Rite parishes/priests (I believe some OO Churches do as well, even if not in the U.S.). They are not Catholic, although some are former-Catholics, others are former-Anglicans, etc.

Here are a few links:
http://www.antiochian.org/node/22395
http://www.rwrv.org/what_is_the_western_rite.html
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Western_Rite

TNX!
thats why i never realy knew abt them, appears there is not WR in "greek" Orthodox. Dang greeks...so very xenophobic.

Offline Orual

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2014, 02:26:46 AM »
Possibly, they just go to the priest who knows their name.  I know I am likely to pick a priest simply because he will know my name over one who is a stranger.

Is it also possible that the WR priest has some idiosyncrasy in distributing communion that the Greeks wouldn't be comfortable with?  When a priest does something slightly different in that process, it can throw people off and make them nervous.

I wouldn't assume it is xenophobia until presented with definitive evidence.  There are innocent reasons that could account for why this happens.
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Offline Nephi

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2014, 02:32:45 AM »
Possibly, they just go to the priest who knows their name.  I know I am likely to pick a priest simply because he will know my name over one who is a stranger.

Is it also possible that the WR priest has some idiosyncrasy in distributing communion that the Greeks wouldn't be comfortable with?  When a priest does something slightly different in that process, it can throw people off and make them nervous.

I wouldn't assume it is xenophobia until presented with definitive evidence.  There are innocent reasons that could account for why this happens.

The one deacon I mentioned I prefer not to commune with (although, apart from my earlier post, I've never gone out of my way to avoid his line) as he always awkwardly asks me if I'm Orthodox, despite having seen me there numerous times and having communed me directly at least twice. Either of the other two priests there I'm fine with as they both know me much more personally.

Offline Basil 320

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2014, 03:01:43 AM »
This has happened before, but today it was especially noteworthy.  Our parish is a moderately sized one, maybe having 300 people or so, but maybe only 50-75 on a typical Sunday.  We have only one priest assigned to our parish, but we have a second priest who is retired western-rite priest who con celebrates pretty much every week when he's not asked to fill in somewhere else.  So, the parish priest serves on the left side (Theotokos side) and the retired WR priest serves on the right.  Typically, more people sit on the left hand side than the right as was the case today.  The line on the right side was half that of the left side.  The ushers were trying to get some of the people on the left to go to the right so that things could be speeded up, but those people  refused.  To me, what difference does it make from which priest you receive the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord?  The answer should be none. Is this not a form of profaning the mysteries? Yet, too many people in our parish seem to think it makes a difference from whom they receive rather than what they are receiving.This same phenomenon even happened when we had a deacon here years back who would also distribute.  I want to bring this up with the priest, but I'm not sure how to broach it. I'm sure many here will tell me to ignore this, but this has to stop.

Our former Presiding Priest would rotate sides where he and our Liturgical Assistant Priest stood when distributing Holy Communion to avoid the faithful being accustomed to receipt of Holy Communion from the same Priest each week.
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Offline lovesupreme

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2014, 03:08:43 AM »
Some people go up for blessings, and so need to be in a priest's line (and not a deacon's).

The thought always crosses my mind to switch over when my usual priest isn't on my side (he usually is). However, it's pretty clear that any priest (or deacon) can administer the sacrament, so to show preference would be a problem.

Nephi, I'm sorry to hear that the deacon isn't aware of your status in the church. Fortunately, I have not had this problem. Everybody knows I am a communicant, they just don't know my name.

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2014, 11:00:08 AM »
This has happened before, but today it was especially noteworthy.  Our parish is a moderately sized one, maybe having 300 people or so, but maybe only 50-75 on a typical Sunday.  We have only one priest assigned to our parish, but we have a second priest who is retired western-rite priest who con celebrates pretty much every week when he's not asked to fill in somewhere else.  So, the parish priest serves on the left side (Theotokos side) and the retired WR priest serves on the right.  Typically, more people sit on the left hand side than the right as was the case today.  The line on the right side was half that of the left side.  The ushers were trying to get some of the people on the left to go to the right so that things could be speeded up, but those people  refused.  To me, what difference does it make from which priest you receive the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord?  The answer should be none. Is this not a form of profaning the mysteries? Yet, too many people in our parish seem to think it makes a difference from whom they receive rather than what they are receiving.This same phenomenon even happened when we had a deacon here years back who would also distribute.  I want to bring this up with the priest, but I'm not sure how to broach it. I'm sure many here will tell me to ignore this, but this has to stop.

Our former Presiding Priest would rotate sides where he and our Liturgical Assistant Priest stood when distributing Holy Communion to avoid the faithful being accustomed to receipt of Holy Communion from the same Priest each week.

My brother does the same thing with our Deacon each week they switch "sides."And some people will just do whatever they want anyway...

Offline biro

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2014, 11:07:16 AM »
When we have a second priest who visits, I just go where the ushers tell me to go. :)
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2014, 11:12:27 AM »
When we have a second priest who visits, I just go where the ushers tell me to go. :)

In the Slavic tradition if there even is an usher, if he says go this way, most will instinctively go that way. :D

Offline Basil 320

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2014, 11:46:16 AM »
Please understand, I don't mean to preach in this post, I'm no better than anyone on this forum. But I am surprised that so many have an opinion to not receive Holy Communion from a particular priest or deacon. We believe Holy Communion to be the essence of "the very Body and Blood of our Lord." That's what we're receiving. Which ever priest serves us, is no endorsement of his ministry or persona. It makes no difference who serves Communion to us. I somewhat understand the issue, when a hierarch serves, I prefer to go to him. I would only suggest we rethink our intention when we chose to avoid a particular priest.
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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2014, 12:27:41 PM »
Please understand, I don't mean to preach in this post, I'm no better than anyone on this forum. But I am surprised that so many have an opinion to not receive Holy Communion from a particular priest or deacon. We believe Holy Communion to be the essence of "the very Body and Blood of our Lord." That's what we're receiving. Which ever priest serves us, is no endorsement of his ministry or persona. It makes no difference who serves Communion to us. I somewhat understand the issue, when a hierarch serves, I prefer to go to him. I would only suggest we rethink our intention when we chose to avoid a particular priest.

Well said and something which needed to be expressed.

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2014, 12:30:41 PM »
I have been using the Deacon's line recently....

except for the last two weeks, there is a newly recalcitrant two year old....so its slower and slower as they try in vain to get her to turn her head and partake.

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2014, 12:34:38 PM »
I have been using the Deacon's line recently....

except for the last two weeks, there is a newly recalcitrant two year old....so its slower and slower as they try in vain to get her to turn her head and partake.

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

When I see children wiggle and frown as they are being brought forward in the Communion line, I sort of mentally root for them to be able to calm down and receive. "You can do it!" It is very rare for a child to wind up in such cranky distress that Father is unable to commune them.
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Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2014, 12:41:34 PM »
I have been using the Deacon's line recently....

except for the last two weeks, there is a newly recalcitrant two year old....so its slower and slower as they try in vain to get her to turn her head and partake.

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

When I see children wiggle and frown as they are being brought forward in the Communion line, I sort of mentally root for them to be able to calm down and receive. "You can do it!" It is very rare for a child to wind up in such cranky distress that Father is unable to commune them.


She isn't even fussing...just silently -determined- not to.

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Offline vamrat

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2014, 01:55:46 PM »
Possibly, they just go to the priest who knows their name.  I know I am likely to pick a priest simply because he will know my name over one who is a stranger.

Is it also possible that the WR priest has some idiosyncrasy in distributing communion that the Greeks wouldn't be comfortable with?  When a priest does something slightly different in that process, it can throw people off and make them nervous.

I wouldn't assume it is xenophobia until presented with definitive evidence.  There are innocent reasons that could account for why this happens.

It is not an idiosyncrasy.  I have received communion from both Priests in question.  One was the first canonical Orthodox Priest (WR) I'd ever met and the other was the first Priest (Antiochian) I served in the altar under, as a child.  I have served frequently with the WR Priest as he usually fills in for our Priest when he is out of town.

It shouldn't be xenophobia as both are same ethnicity.

I have my less than innocent suspicions as to why (and it ticks me off) but will keep my mouth shut.  Both are outstanding men.
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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2014, 02:25:13 PM »
I heard a Greek Priest during a Bible study say that the Greeks do not consider the WR to be valid. We were discussing the Divine Liturgy as instituted by Christ. That the WR make the Sign of the Cross backwards and without the proper fingering upset him. He actually told us not to attend WR Masses.
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Offline Marc1152

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2014, 03:12:14 PM »
At the Church I used to attend there was one Priest who was very casual and chatty while giving communion. I would avoid him.
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2014, 03:25:41 PM »
I heard a Greek Priest during a Bible study say that the Greeks do not consider the WR to be valid. We were discussing the Divine Liturgy as instituted by Christ. That the WR make the Sign of the Cross backwards and without the proper fingering upset him. He actually told us not to attend WR Masses.
I hope you're not suggesting that the priest in question was right. The author of this book makes it clear that the sign of the cross has undergone a whole series of changes over the centuries in both East and West. There may be other arguments against WR, but this is a very weak one.

But back to the original question: why not have just one line and direct people to the next available bishop/priest/deacon? Luck of the draw. No reason to complain. It seems rather sad that a communicant would focus on the celebrant instead of on the sacrament.

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2014, 03:34:26 PM »
I heard a Greek Priest during a Bible study say that the Greeks do not consider the WR to be valid. We were discussing the Divine Liturgy as instituted by Christ. That the WR make the Sign of the Cross backwards and without the proper fingering upset him. He actually told us not to attend WR Masses.
I hope you're not suggesting that the priest in question was right. The author of this book makes it clear that the sign of the cross has undergone a whole series of changes over the centuries in both East and West. There may be other arguments against WR, but this is a very weak one.

But back to the original question: why not have just one line and direct people to the next available bishop/priest/deacon? Luck of the draw. No reason to complain. It seems rather sad that a communicant would focus on the celebrant instead of on the sacrament.

Just quoting what the priest said without any comment.  ::)

I agree with your comments.

The difference might be the way people line up to receive Holy Communion.

In the OCA, people usually process up the center aisle in one line and then are told by the subdeacon or understand that they go to the next waiting clergy distributing communion (either hierarch, priest or deacon).

In the Antiochian parishes and Greek ones, people usually process up the side aisles, so there are two lines, and people will stack up on one side of the church to receive communion from their favorite cleric.



« Last Edit: September 22, 2014, 03:35:59 PM by Maria »
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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2014, 03:38:20 PM »
This has happened before, but today it was especially noteworthy.  Our parish is a moderately sized one, maybe having 300 people or so, but maybe only 50-75 on a typical Sunday.  We have only one priest assigned to our parish, but we have a second priest who is retired western-rite priest who con celebrates pretty much every week when he's not asked to fill in somewhere else.  So, the parish priest serves on the left side (Theotokos side) and the retired WR priest serves on the right.  Typically, more people sit on the left hand side than the right as was the case today.  The line on the right side was half that of the left side.  The ushers were trying to get some of the people on the left to go to the right so that things could be speeded up, but those people  refused.  To me, what difference does it make from which priest you receive the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord?  The answer should be none. Is this not a form of profaning the mysteries? Yet, too many people in our parish seem to think it makes a difference from whom they receive rather than what they are receiving.This same phenomenon even happened when we had a deacon here years back who would also distribute.  I want to bring this up with the priest, but I'm not sure how to broach it. I'm sure many here will tell me to ignore this, but this has to stop.

Do you know for sure that the people wouldn't switch sides and receive from the other priest because they thought it did in fact make a difference from whom they received?  If so, that's stupid, and I think you should mention it to your pastor.  But be sure that this is the reason, and that there isn't some other legitimate reason.  

It really doesn't make a difference from whom one receives.  I don't even try to receive from the bishop if he is present: if I'm on his line and the priest next to him has less of a line, I'll switch lines happily.  If there is more than one person distributing Communion, it is not simply to make things more convenient for the congregation, but also for the clergy.  If people disregard that, all they have done is made life for the clergy just a bit more inconvenient because not only did Communion take more time, but so did the post-Communion cleansing of the multiple vessels which were used precisely to save time.  
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2014, 04:34:51 PM »


I have my less than innocent suspicions as to why (and it ticks me off) but will keep my mouth shut.  Both are outstanding men.

They are which cuts to the heart of the issue.  I'm sure your suspicions are the same as mine.

As for the issue brought up when a priest does not know your name, I would simply tell him.  My chrismated name is not the same as my given name. 
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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2014, 04:47:29 PM »
I heard a Greek Priest during a Bible study say that the Greeks do not consider the WR to be valid. We were discussing the Divine Liturgy as instituted by Christ. That the WR make the Sign of the Cross backwards and without the proper fingering upset him. He actually told us not to attend WR Masses.

What does that have to do with anything?
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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2014, 05:11:21 PM »
Should not a communicant be focusing on receiving our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ instead of looking at other people?

Logismoi seem everywhere present. However, they will gather like flies whenever one has putrid thoughts.

« Last Edit: September 22, 2014, 05:15:31 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline biro

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2014, 05:19:51 PM »
I heard a Greek Priest during a Bible study say that the Greeks do not consider the WR to be valid. We were discussing the Divine Liturgy as instituted by Christ. That the WR make the Sign of the Cross backwards and without the proper fingering upset him. He actually told us not to attend WR Masses.

I wonder if he would reconsider, if or when a WR parish used the Sign of the Cross in the Eastern manner, right shoulder first and same finger setting. The West did exist as an Orthodox Christian community prior to the Schism, so there were and are legitimate liturgical forms from that place. It can't be a sin simply to be from west of the Ural Mountains.
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Offline Yurysprudentsiya

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Re: Two lines for communion-people line up for their favorite priest
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2014, 05:35:01 PM »
I am sorry to hear about this.  To me, it seems like the ugly head of Donatism rears itself in a mild form, i.e., subconsciously people are affirming that the efficacy of the sacrament somehow depends upon the validity (or even familiarity) of the priest.  This is wrong.  I can understand the situation with little children who are just learning to receive, and where it is better to take them to a familiar priest to do so.  But where more than one clergyman is distributing the Eucharist, it makes little difference where one ends up, for it is Christ that we are receiving.  It seems most prudent just to go to the one on my side of the church or who happens to have a vacancy first.