Monday, December 24, 2007

Hot Damn and Hallelujah!!!

I finally have my internet at home!!! Yay!!! Oh, and I have a phone again,
too, but that it so much less important!

Merry Christmas and may your services be meaningful and blessed.

Friday, December 14, 2007

What Happened

Thanks, friends, for your concern. This has been my first chance to get on teh internet since Sunday night.

We got the ice storm here. I don't have much time to post, so I'll just sum up: the huge branches of our sycamore tree decided to visit the power lines to our house, as well as our roof. So, we have a big ol' hole in our dining room and no electricity. Thankfully, we found a place to stay that has heat and lights while we wait for our home to be habitable. Many in this area aren't as fortunate.

Please pray for us around here, as there is a lot to do and peoples' fuses are getting shorter and shorter.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

"Speak Your Mind, Even If Your Voice Shakes."

And mine did shake this morning.

This overture, which had been tabled for a year, was defeated at Presbytery today. This was no thanks to me, as I kept having moments of aphasia while I was at the mic speaking and couldn't remember the word "overture." This happens to me a lot when I attempt to speak at Presbytery- rambling, forgetting the main point I wanted to make, etc....but I still find myself speaking at just about every meeting. And honestly, sometimes it's just because I can't stand it if no one under 50 has spoken, so I'll speak just so a young(er) voice is heard.

The debate could have been uglier than it was, but it was more heated than I would have liked. There were some very uncomfortable moments when they were trying to count votes- first by voice, then by showing of hands..... then, they asked us to stand to register our vote and there we were literally standing against one another. There was still confusion, so thankfully, ballots were handed out. It was interesting, by my estimation on the standing vote, the overture would have passed by, I'd say, 4 or 5 votes. Yet, when we voted by ballot, it was defeated by about 12. Some stormed out of the sanctuary after the result was announced.

While personally I am so glad that it didn't pass, I am also feeling grief over where we find ourselves as a Presbytery-not to mention our denomination. This skirmish is behind us, but we'll just very likely regroup for the next battle. How long can we keep this up? Really?

Someone made the comment on the floor of Presbytery that we are like a gallon of the Blue Bell Ice Cream flavor, The Great Divide, which has chocolate on one side and vanilla on the other. I only wish our division was as sweet! (mmmmmmmm.........Blue Bell........)

Oh, the former pastor of the church I am now serving sent a message to me via another pastor. The message was, "Do you know what the f(ireplace) you're getting into?" I just nodded and smiled, because what can I say to that?

I went home early because I began to feel pretty bad and a couple of people told me I looked "yellow." I never noticed that, but I was sure beat. I'll sleep well tonight.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

How It Went

I've been feeling pretty bad this afternoon and I don't think it is completely because of my late night last night. I'm feeling a bit feverish and queasy. I have a follow-up appointment with the surgeon tomorrow, thankfully. I bet I've just been overdoing it.

Anyway, real quick, here's how it went this morning...

  • I think I am going to actually like the drive down and back. It's a good four lane highway and the drive is about 39 minutes- not too long and I can listen to NPR. But, ask me again in a year.
  • The only Sunday School class- of any age- was a Bible class where I was told, "We're gonna look at Job today!" From what I could gather, they were only going to study Job just this week. I think there was someone prepared to teach children and youth, but there were no students today. My family is still worshipping with my former congregation since my kids had already begun preparations for the Christmas pageant before I was knew I was going to serve this congregation. We'll reevaluate in the new year.
  • I think I was grabbed and hugged by every church member I came across! I think some of the session members had let it slip that I had been extended more than one offer to serve as an interim, because a couple of folks said, "I'm so glad you chose us!" I've decided not to feel strange about that. It seems that they could use some esteem building.
  • Each year in Advent, the congregation invites the young men of a boys' home that our Presbytery supports to come to worship and then lavishly gives each of them gifts. I mean it- presents and cards with cash! One of the staff members of the boys' home, whom I had never met, led the service. I suspected that he wasn't Presbyterian when I saw that his gospel reading for the first Sunday of Advent was Luke 2 and his 30 minute sermon was entitled "Noses Pushed Against the Glass of the Bethlehem Nursery." He is the newest staff member and is a Southern Baptist pastor. It wasn't a bad sermon, but I think folks will be happy with my 12-15 minute sermons!

I'm in a very good place right now- peaceful, grateful and really, really excited about this new ministry!

3:40 am...

....and I can't sleep. So, I'm insomnablogging.

I guess I'm a little nervous and wound up about my first official day as interim pastor tomorrow. Thankfully, I just have to be present and am not preaching.

I'll need lots of coffee in the morning for the 40 mile drive!

Have a blessed first Sunday of Advent, everyone!