Monday, April 9, 2012

Holy Week

I saw a cartoon today, posted by a colleague on facebook. The first panel, titled "Easter morning," has a minister standing in front of the congregation proclaiming, "The Lord is risen!" In the second panel, titled "Easter afternoon," the pastor is sitting in an easy chair looking dazed. The spouse proclaims, "The clergy is dead."
This year didn't leave me that drained, though I am tired today. It was a very good week. Worship was intense, and very well received. Because I was organized and got things prepared early, I didn't have to do any preparation Saturday. I spent the day working in the yard and on my raised garden beds and even took Daughter to a movie Saturday evening.
It feels like I've settled in and things are clicking at the church. A number of people have thanked me for our worship during Lent and Holy Week. A woman who asked to be removed from membership (she doesn't like women clergy) was in worship Maundy Thursday. Someone said that the skeptics who voted against my call should come see the church now. We had a number of visitors yesterday, and I anticipate some of them returning. We have one family who was there for their third Sunday in a row. I said, "You're becoming part of the family!" The response was, "I hope so!" The number of children in worship continues to grow. People are counting on more children.
Several people referred to themes from yesterday's sermon today. We had a meeting tonight and were talking about plans for the April 29th worship service, when I will be on retreat. The focus will be on mission and promoting some of our mission work. I said they could leave out the prayer of confession for that week. Several people said they wanted it to stay in. When I arrived, there wasn't a prayer of confession in worship, and there was some reluctance about adding one. Now, they don't want to skip it for one Sunday.
Someone said something semi-negative at a meeting tonight, and someone reminded them that I would call it "an opportunity." They stopped grumbling. There is an energy in the congregation now, and a willingness to take risks and try new things. When I arrived, the congregation was still recovering from a pastor who had not been a good match for their needs. They'd lost over half of their membership in less than 10 years.
I feel so comfortable here, and truly consider myself blessed to be here. I have reached a point where I have to acknowledge I can't finished my raised garden beds alone. I have a number of willing volunteers coming to help me with the final install tomorrow afternoon. I feel like this is the ministry God has been preparing me for all my career. I know there will be challenges ahead, and I know that with God's guidance we will make it through them and continue to grow in ministry. God is good.
Tomorrow I hope to find time to reflect on my weekend with Daughter.

1 comment:

maeve said...

You are a blessed woman. You have found a place where your life fits and you fit.

I've been talking about your experience with a best friend who's also a Presbyterian minisiter and he agrees with me. Blessed.

Sending good thoughts from here and loving these great steps.