Today has been a long day. There is a lot of illness in our community. Administrative Assistant wasn't there today. She'd been up all night coughing.
The man who was running the sound board and PowerPoint this morning was soloing for the first part of the service. He is lacking in confidence, and worries about making mistakes. He asked me if there was anything out of the ordinary before worship this morning, telling me he didn't want to make mistakes. I told him I thought it was pretty straight forward, and told him not to worry about mistakes. I reminded him there are lots of mistakes in worship-- most of them mine.
We were installing officers today, and I needed to find someone to present them and ask the congregation to support them. The first leader took the liturgy and found someone else to do it.
One of the officers we were installing was in tears this morning. His 93 year old dad cancelled his overseas trip after they found a large mass in one lung. He is coughing up blood. He has moved his father into his home for now. This has all come up within the last 10 days, and as of Friday, he was still planning to make the trip. His son says he's slipping fast. I asked if I should come visit, and was told yes, but it can wait until tomorrow. I'll stop by around noon. His dad is a remarkable man, and was in worship last Sunday.
When we got to the installation service, I discovered I hadn't given the liturgy to the man who puts it in PowerPoint. I said, "Okay, we'll do it the old-fashioned way," and grabbed my notebook. I had the man who had been recruited to present them join me in the responsive reading that began the service. When we got to his first lines, he said it wasn't on is liturgy. I pointed it out in my notebook. There was one point where I realized part of the service was missing.
As we were progressing through the service, I became aware that there was a woman in the back of the church had passed out. L has a history of doing this, which is why she sits in the back. She hasn't done it in several years. I also became aware that there was quite a bit of concern. One of the new officers was a nurse, so I sent her back before the installation prayer.
As we proceeded to the next hymn, I saw the situation in the back was getting worst. Most of the congregation was unaware of what was going on. During the final hymn, I went back and had a prayer with them as they waited for the squad to arrive. Before the benediction I asked the congregation to wait for the squad to leave before going out the front doors to give them room to work.
When Nurse went back, she could find a strong pulse. Then it got thready. By the time the squad arrived, they couldn't find a pulse or a blood pressure. Husband was insisting he was fine and could go to the hospital alone. When I heard what had happened and realized that Husband was now scared, I recruited a man to go with them to the ER-- he has been involved in other hospital visits, so I knew he'd be comfortable. He had worked with a man whose wife died this fall, and had done a wonderful job.
I took Daughter for lunch, and got a phone update that the woman was now conscious and stable. After lunch, we returned to the church, and I did the inventory on her pills. I had a 2:00 meeting, and then dragged Daughter with me to the hospital. She waited in the waiting room while I went back into the ER to see the couple. They were doing lots of tests, no answers yet. The ER was packed-- they have asked people not to go to the ER with the flu, but I don't think the people packed in there had heard....
As I took Daughter home, it started to sleet. I decided I'd best get gas on my way home. With two people experiencing serious health issues, I have to be prepared for the middle of the night call. I left the house before 8 this morning, and didn't get home until 5:00. My driveway was white with ice when I got home. I'm grateful that I have a garage and that I didn't have trouble with the slight hill up to the garage. There have been times when the driveway has been so slippery I had trouble getting up it. I hope I'm home for the night.
Oh, the man who was soloing on the soundboard (and was done before I got to the installation service with the missing parts) came up to me after the service, smiling. "I see what you mean about things happening in worship." Yup, things happen, and we go with the flow. Daughter was wonderfully cooperative through all of this. In fact, when she heard we were going to stop by the hospital before I took her home, she said, "Yeah, I get to spend more time with Mom." A long day, but there is much to celebrate in it.