Monday, September 17, 2007

Sheep, coins, and sacred space

The sermon went well yesterday. I'm really glad it is over! Honestly, I was feeling a little uneasy about it, mostly because it was my first sermon at the church. It was on the parables of the lost sheep & the lost coin from Luke 15, which can be somewhat tricky to preach on, especially if you've only been here for three weeks. But, it happened. I didn't fall over and nothing crazy happened during the service!

I've been thinking about something over the last week or so. Pastoral presence. I've been told in the past that I have great presence in the pulpit and when I am leading worship. However, I heard a comment last week that I have all the right words, but I was a little timid during the service last Sunday. Although there might be some merit there, I was exceptionally tired from my whirlwind trip to my annual consultation and had only returned the night before. I admit I was struggling a bit to keep my focus. However, I do not think last Sunday was an accurate representation of me.

The pulpit is sacred space for me. No matter how nervous I might feel beforehand, whenever I step into the pulpit, I instantly feel calm and comfortable. It is something that is difficult to explain to others. I just feel sure of my call then, in ways that are very different than other areas of my life.

I felt strong and sure, calm and comfortable yesterday. It reminds me of the awesome responsiblities that come with being a pastor.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Pastor's Life

I am learning a lot about what it looks like to be a pastor. There are a lot of meetings, phone calls to make (by the way, I really hate the phone!), visits to schedule, bulletins to prepare and proof, sermons to write (currently attempting that), budgets to read and interpret, liturgy to prepare, and then when the network goes down and you cannot retrieve the bulletin for this week, then the stress piles on! (This really did happen this morning and I am happy to note that it is now working, after an hour of running around trying to fix it.)

I am trying to make the adjustment from full time student to full time intern. It's harder than I expected. While I love this church, my job, and what I am doing, there is still a part of me that longs to be in the classroom. I don't know why. I was perfectly happy when I finished my last final in May, knowing that I would be out of the classroom for 15 months. But, I've been in school all my life, since I was 2, and it was a real sense of comfort for me. I knew what to expect- homework, reading, exams, syllibi, spending time at the library, counting down the days until the end of the semester. However, now my days are filled with church business, which is never predictable. I know that it is going to take some time for me to adjust to this new life.

I miss my friends. A lot. Being here, I have to things all by myself. There's no one to grab coffee or a drink with, go to Target with, or have dinner with. And, while it has been nice to do the things I want to, I miss the company of other people. Despite the fact that I am not a big fan of the food, I do miss community meals in the refectory.

However, I still hold onto the thought that the call of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot sustain you. It is true. I will make it through this year. God is with me. Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Meetings galore

This is liturally the week of meetings! I have three today at church, including a session meeting tonight that promises to be lengthy. Yay. To top it all off, I fly to Tennessee Friday to attend my annual consultation meeting on Saturday morning, only to turn around and fly back that night. I must admit I am nervous about seeing my committee again. I've not seen them since February, when they tabled my candidacy process until this month. I don't know what is going to happen this weekend. I do know they cannot really do anything with my candidacy stuff until a real meeting of the CPM, which is on November 5th. It is kind of a wait and see thing. I am trying to prepare myself well for this meeting- I need to be on my game this time. I think I wrote good things in my paperwork for it, so we can only pray at this point. But, I guess it is time to revisit the dreaded paperwork for candidacy, since I will need to re-file it for that Nov meeting. Ugh. It's only 6 questions. Why is it so daunting? I'll let you know what happens...

Update (9.11): I met with the CPM on Saturday. It went well, with a lot of affirmation from several members of the committee, which was a good thing. I am now working on revising my written questions for my Form 5 and submitting them for the November CPM meeting. Pray for me. It is going to be a long two months!