It's been one month since my last post, mainly due to internet access issues and over-scheduling. The majority of my over-scheduling had to do with attempting to be in two places at once. Finally, I caught a clue and realized I could not be the pastor here and there at the same time - a 'revelation' a bit harder to come by since the two churches are in such close proximity. A friend and colleague encouraged me to throw down the boundary and abide by it and life got better.
I have spent the better part of the month visiting with folks and walking with DPC as they get ready to enter Phase 2 of their transition - The Search. A small - and old - book from the Alban Institute wisely counseled that although tempted to hide in one's office and pack under the guise of 'administration' the better break-down of time spent is 25% administration, 75% personal interaction. It encouraged me to make personal contacts and to make them especially with the folks who I think would leastt like to see me. And it was absolutely accurate.
I was either affirmed and given a positive note to leave my relationship with them on or it was confirmed that whatever was going on was purely about them, and not me. This step was a crucial one for a healthy transition and one I might have skipped, because let's face it - when you have a 'next thing' to get to... you want to get to it!
Now I am pondering tomorrow's sermon. The 'buzz' is the place will be packed and they cancelled the nursery because no one wanted to staff it. I feel a bit like I am preparing #1 on David Letterman's Top Ten List as we all know #1 is usually a disappointment as compared to #3 or #4. But God is good, all the time... and even now I refuse to sacrifice myself on the altar of the perfect sermon. It will come in it's own time and it will be something the Holy Spirit can work with, I'm sure.
After worship is a reception - catered no less - over in the Parish Hall. After 7+ years of occasionaly rough roads here I am going to enjoy the accolades and the thanksgivings and give them back in return.
There is no way I am getting to MPC without DPC. I am a better preacher and I will be a better pastor and Head of Staff because of the folks here.
So that is the update from this neck of the woods. Hopefully the internet will stick around so I can continue 'processing' in this forum. I like throwing up scraps of sermon research and thoughts and 'conversing' with Teh Internets on a more regular basis so we shall see.
In the meantime my family and I are headed ever closer to stepping over the boundary from one congregation to the next. See you on the other side...