Friday, December 19, 2008

Blog n' Seek

Did you find me yet?

HINT: Check out this week's comments at the revgalblogpals' Friday Five.

Friday Five: Countdown to Christmas Edition

It's true.

There are only five full days before Christmas Day, and whether you use them for shopping, wrapping, preaching, worshiping, singing or traveling or even wishing the whole darn thing were over last Tuesday, there's a good chance they will be busy ones.

So let's make this easy, if we can: tell us five things you need to accomplish before Christmas Eve.

Well, I just happen to have the list right in front of me! But that is just today's and it is heavy on the clerical side so I'll take from the bigger list:

1) 12/24 evening bulletin

2) Yell at and hopefully receive 40 missing Christmas cards from company

3) Finish wrapping so I can PUT IT AWAY!!!!

4) Make cookies with Will and Gram.

5) Convince my father that his 12/24 birthday will be celebrated far better if we do it later in the week (CHECK! This one is done.)

BONUS: Not. Get. Sick.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Listen.

I am a pastor who preaches at least three out of every four Sundays. In our current worship rhythm a lay leader reads the first Scripture of the day and then I read the second one. I usually announce the passage and then say, "Listen."

It is in every How to be a Good Friend/Parent/Spouse/Pastor/Neighbor article you can find... and yet it is something so many of us fail at (yes, I am noting that log in my own eye, thank you). I actually have two people in my life right now who are so (shall we say challenged?) at listening that they finish your sentence with you... or for you. I have noticed it and so every once in awhile I will say something completely bizarre instead of what the sentence was going to end with.

I just can't help myself.

I am about to transition from one pastorate to another and one of my BIG challenges is going to be shutting up and listening. Tied into this BIG challenge is another BIG one - patience. It takes a good five years for a congregation to really get to know you and for you to get to know them. More importantly, it takes that long for a congregation to trust you and they are only going to trust you if they feel like you have been listening to their story - both corporate and individual.

Now time is on my side, my intention is to be with this congregation at least until my son graduates from high school... currently he is 4. So I have time to get to know them, the challenge is getting my own self out of my better self's way.

For a small portion of time every Sunday I will lead worship. That is when I get to speak.
For the rest of the week, it is my privilege to listen.

Throughout our journey together God will speak and my prayer for congregation, pastors and staff is that we all will listen.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Whirlwind

Life is good, please don't get me wrong... BUT my brain is a bit overloaded. Here is an example of a typical thread of thought... sometimes between 2-4am:

I need to go to visit A at the hospital and should do that before going to COM meeting I need to look over my faith statement for that so I don't get surprised by questions on it but really even if I answer poorly I will pass but I don't want to look stupid it's the congregational vote I need to be worried about not COM I hope it's not bad that the vote doesn't happen until 1/11 even though folks will know sometime this week I need to write a draft of that letter to the congregation, contrite and thankful not gloating though do I mention the head of staff bit or just say I am going on staff no they should know and then from there on out I just won't keep mentioning that so I need to write that meeting is on Monday I have a sermon to write too but I am unmotivated by John the Baptist is this a time for a challenging sermon CRAP! I have not written the stewardship letter yet shit what the hell am I waiting for on that i need to do that but I can't focus on it now I am too wiped better focus on some personal stuff I need to do a Christmas gift inventory only 14 more days to mail stuff out why am I so late with that oh right I am waiting on a few more things to come in I have enough for The Boy but what should come from Santa what should come from me glad I decorated for him but now I have all of those boxes to put away but I can't because the basement is wet and the dehumidifier frozen over good thing I saw that before it caught fire when is tdx going to get his #(*#$ boxes out of here I should tell him to do that now rather than waiting until we move I cannot believe I have to rent the manse and wait for a new build to be finished - yikes, started - but it is going to be sweet if it/when it is done but how awkward to start work at the new job and have to commute how is Mom going to get here in time to watch The Boy and take him to school wait a minute I can't worry about that right now push that aside what about working with a staff for the first time in a long time who can I trust what do I preach in January to win them over what about my first sermon the first sunday of Lent I should tell my story to get it out there but no counting chickens until 1/11 the actual vote and first things first which is to have the called session meeting and announce to this congregation and enjoy Christmas together and focus on my job now and I have some calls to make and I need to go visit A at the hospital....

Life is good, please don't get me wrong.