It's been a long, good day. Friday I received an email asking whether I'd consider doing a nonmember wedding. I responded with what I would charge, and told them that if they were still interested, they should come to worship, and if they liked my style, we'd talk. I figured that would be the end of it. My experience is people think the minister and church should just donate their time. With premarital counseling, a wedding takes 7-8 hours of my time. So I was surprised when the response asked about when worship was, and pleased when the couple actually showed up in worship today. They were greeted very warmly by the congregation. I'm meeting with them next Sunday at 1:00.
After worship, I took Daughter to lunch and then took her home. I went back to the church, where I had a 2:00 meeting. Following the meeting I started on next week's bulletin.
At 6:00 I taught a course on being a caring church. We have set up a system to turn much of the pastoral care over to members, and this class was part of it. This morning some members were talking with a woman who is caring for her husband with Alzheimer's. The stress is taking a heavy toll on her, and tomorrow she's going to the hospital for testing. They suspect she has an ulcer, probably caused by stress. This evening I received an email. Two of the class members tonight will be at the hospital with her tomorrow.
This congregation truly does know how to love one another, and it's wonderful to see them taking responsibility for this kind of care, freeing me up to focus on worship, teaching, and moving the congregation forward in exciting ways.