in endless song, above earth’s lamentations.”
Yeah, right. 🙂
Life is beginning to regain some kind of flow – now that I’m not coming home completely exhausted at the end of the day! The exhaustion has been “good” to this point… a job well done, and all that stuff. But its meant that I’ve been a ‘wet noodle’ when it comes to daddy and partner. But now – well, now I hope I’ve got a sense of the rhythm of the place.
I’ve been here for just over two-and-a-half months, now. I’ve had time to introduce a number of changes to the order of worship, and build in ways for people to raise non-anonymous concerns and questions. We just finished a six week “Celebrate Stewardship” process, which culminated in a Stewardship Sunday. (Get this… of those whose ‘Estimate of Givings’ forms came back on the offering plate – about 5/8ths of them – we had a 28% increase in pledges over the same people’s pledges last year. And this is from a congregation who is used to annual pledging. Woo hoo! It’ll be exciting to see what happens with the 30ish forms we had to mail out.)
I’m attending the Ministerial Association here. I’ve got to say that doing my D.Min. work at a seminary with a Bretheren history, while being a liberal student in a liberal denomination, has stood me in good stead. Theologically, I’m on the opposite end of many, many, spectra from my colleagues in the Ministerial… but we’re finding places that we can work together.
Tonight, the Church Board is having its second meeting since my arrival. We’re in the process of re-working the Board, Executive and Division meeting agendas to conform more closely to each groups’ purpose as stated in the congregation’s “Organizational Structure” document. That means that the Board is responsible for Spiritual Discernment and Vision Articulation, the Exec. is responsible for developing the working plans to respond to the named vision, and the Divisions are responsible for putting those plans into effect. Its a neat structure… now we have to see if it will actually work! (At its last meeting the Executive decided to recommend to the Board that we ‘follow the Organizational Structure until Easter… then review it and see if there are changes that need to be made.) I’m hoping it works. I really don’t want to have four or five meetings a month that are all doing the same thing!
Those of you who know me from London Conference won’t be surprised to hear that a lot of prayer and scripture exploration have been introduced into the agenda. (Next month… a hymn or two! *grin*)
I’ve done some update work on the congregation’s website. It’s looking ok, but I need to build some content that changes weekly. It might come as a surprise to some… but keeping the computer network running and updating the website is actually part of my position description (about 2% per week of my time). Let’s hope the system runs smoothly… at least until I can introduce them to the joys of linux. 😉
In about an hour I’ll be installed as the Chaplain, over at the Legion… a responsibility that seems to find me each time I move.
Some of you will laugh at this one – I’m a member of the congregation’s handbell choir. Yep… it’s the Belles and Quasimodo. (I stand ringing the bass bells and, in my head, I hear this voice saying, “I must find a brain for… hmmm… for… oh, yeah… I must find a brain.” As much as I’m having fun, I hope that there will be others who decide they’d like to ring. I find the Sunday prep. to be able to play doesn’t fit well with my need to prepare for worship leadership.
We’re in the process of starting three new worship gatherings – a weekly Wed. evening ‘Worship in the style of Taize’, a monthly ‘Family Time/Together Time’, and a bi-weekly worship service supporting folks working to overcome addiction.
One of the really cool things about St. Andrew’s is that is opens its space for free to any “Anonymous” group that needs it (eg. AA, NA, DA, GA). We’re talking with the groups to see if there are other ways that the congregation can be supportive.
While my intentional prayer time has jumped (I mean, when one has got the congregational elders accepting the responsibility of praying daily for each person on their visitation list, one can’t shirk one’s own pray responsibilities, eh? 🙂 ), my creative writing time had plummeted. I’m looking forward to getting back to writing again.
Yeah, things will come into place. Soon.
Even if they don’t, I’m going to have to!
“…how can I keep from singing?”