Monday, September 29, 2008

Pieces of Peace

Right now I have my iPod filled with music that brings me a sense of peace. (Mostly. There's still some Bon Jovi for the times I need energy too.) But peace seems to be a rare commodity these days. So much going on at church. The sad thing is, music in worship used to be so renewing for me. But in this congregation, it pretty much is just sad, sad, sad. The people in the congregation don't sing with any enthusiasm whatsoever. The choir is about four people on average. They rarely sing anthems. Harmony is touch and go. The men? Well, when there are any, let's just say they make a joyful noise, bless their sweet little hearts.
I'm actually thinking about suggesting that we occassionally used recorded music for certain times of the year. Maybe around Christmas we'll see how it goes over.
It's so funny though. When I was talking about doing the Lessons and Carols service for Christmas Eve, some people on the session were just amazed that the choir didn't want to do a big cantata for that service. Hello!! Are you in worship? There are four people, maybe six in the choir. None of whom are, shall we say, particularly gifted in their voices. It was actually the choir director who had suggested the lessons and carols service anyway, since she agrees that while they are dedicated, the usual suspects in the choir aren't strong enough vocally to do anything that large. Now if I could just convince the congregation that singing should be a joyful part of worship.
So, for now, I content myself with Robert Shaw or the Cambridge Singers. Little pieces of peace that invade the busyness of my day.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where it all collides

Why is it that the week I tell people I'm pregnant suddenly starts off the busiest next few weeks of my life? It's like it all exploded at once. I make the announcement at session and suddenly everyone wants a piece of my time to talk about, oh, stewardship, worship, fellowship, communications needs, you name it. I have had about six meetings already in the last 5 work days of people "stopping in to say hey" and staying for over an hour. Everyone has an agenda it seems. I guess I should have seen it coming. My one year here approaches in a couple months. Things are settling into a routine with us and people feel comfortable with me. Stewardship season is what's kicking my butt right now. I keep hearing, "We didn't do such and such for the last couple of years since we wanted to wait for the new pastor." Well, here I am so now they want to do "such and such" and I'm finding there are a lot of things that fall under that category.
On the other hand, things are going well, even if busy. They're pretty open to letting me run with my ideas as long as I ask about it first instead of just going it on my own. As long as I say, "Hey, I was thinking about doing (x)," they usually let me go ahead with it. That's been nice. I've got a great class of elders this year. Got to do my first elder/deacon installation a couple weeks ago. That was cool.
We're also gearing up for World Communion Sunday which I don't think this church has ever done before. We've been teaching them a couple of new hymns from other countries so they can have the full experience. I wish we had some people to play maracas or drum or something to jazz it up. Enthusiasm in worship is not a high priority in this congregation. I'm working on that.
Finally broke down and decided to get a PDA this week when I realized that I just had too many places to go and no way to keep it all straight unless I carried around my big planning calendar everywhere. Plus, if I'm going from one place straight to another, it might be a good idea to have all my addresses and phone numbers handy, hence the decision for a PDA. Then I could have wifi whenever I was near a hotspot too. That'd be good for email and such.
That's all. I need a nap after that marathon post. Whew!

Monday, September 15, 2008

I guess it's time

This is the week I will be telling my session that they are going to have to start thinking about a maternity leave policy for me. I'm not terribly worried that they will freak, but maybe just a tiny little bit nervous, since no matter how you cut it, I'm gonna be out over Easter. I'm due the beginning of Holy Week. Oops. (Wasn't thinking that far ahead in the heat of the moment!) I don't think we'll get that far though. I think she'll make her appearance by the end of March. (FYI, I don't know if it's a girl, just hoping.)
We do have a woman who is working on her M.Div and who would certainly, I think, enjoy the chance to fill in for some or even all of that time, though we'd have to find an ordained person to come in to do communion.
I think people sort of expected this to happen sooner or later. They knew they were hiring a young woman with a young family who might want at least one more kid. We'd talked about that a little in my interviews. We'll just have to see if they panic about my leave time and being out over Holy Week and Easter. I'll have only been here about a year and 3 months by the time that swings around. Hopefully the new baby will quickly charm them into forgetting that part.
So around 7pm EST on Wed, say a quick prayer, k?