Monday, April 17, 2017

POST EASTER

My, what a busy Lent it was! And then there was Holy Week. Most of which went well - aside from
a memorial service I will prepare and do this coming Saturday. (Not to mention the two in May).
   Maundy Thursday went very well and the stripping of the altar done by just two women was efficient and nicely done.
   Good Friday was planned very well (by moi). The acolyte attempted to extinguish the first candle to early. The choir (which has just started up after a year or two hiatus) sang (you won't believe this! and try not to cringe!) "In the Garden". I know, the most inappropriate hymn for Good Friday. I would have nixed it, except it was the first time they were singing for a service and I just couldn't in all good conscience, squash their spirit. If I am still there next year - it will be an appropriate piece for Good Friday. Our organist who is a senior at a local university, just the nicest and very talented
young man, still needs some seasoning and has some learning edges. I have never sung, "Ah Holy Jesus" and "O Sacred Head Now Wounded" so fast in my entire career in ministry! I guess I needed to remind him that the service is more contemplative than any other in the church year. I do commend him that he doesn't drag hymns on normal Sundays, however, this was Good Friday! I will speak with him about that this Saturday. He did a great job soloing "Where You There?" in the darkness of the
sanctuary. Oh, and the one working the lights brought up the one aisle light as the organist began to
sang and the acolyte was sent to tell him to turn it off until after the singing! Sigh. What is it with Lutherans not wanting to be in the dark? The last L church had a hard time turning off ALL the lights, and this one turned them all off and too quickly put some back on!!
   Easter morning began at 5:20 am for me when I got up. The first worship was at 8 am and it was very good. Then a breakfast followed. An Easter Egg Hunt or rather, Gathering - as they were not hard to spot, took place following/during breakfast. The second service was at 10:30 am. I guess I was a bit tired - and for whatever reason missed saying the Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer. Instead
I nodded to the Organist to play "Holy, Holy, Holy" as within the very first phrase, I realized what
I had done! Mortified I was! As soon as we finished singing, I said the Preface and stated, that we "praised" and "had joined in the song of all the choirs of angels, etc." Then I went into the Words of Institution and all followed well after that. Everyone got their foamie butterfly stickers and enjoyed my Easter message! Thanks be to God! I survived, not without glitches, but with grace beyond me,
and I am ever grateful to God. Several folks mentioned how good Maundy Thurs and Good Friday
services were - despite the choir anthem and singing too fast a couple of hymns. Perhaps, grace
abounds even when and despite things going wrong and the Spirit is at work in spite and despite
us. That's is grace and blessing.
   I am off today to recover. I have a massage scheduled for this afternoon. Thanks to my sister and her gift of a certificate!
   Then hopefully, I will be ready for the church council meeting this evening, putting a memorial sermon together for Sat. and all that this week will bring and unfold.
   May the grace of Easter abound in your life and bring you to life.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

10 BUCKS

Here we are in the midst of Lent or just past the middle of Lent and it has been a hectic time. I also had 4 funerals in the space of about 5 weeks and lost three days off!
   Our vaccum hose and powerbrush died (central vac system) and after 13 years of faithful service -
had to be replaced, to the tune of $700.00! 
   Then my laptop got ill and had to get healed - what is it about Advent and Lent that seems to bring my computer down? Not knowing for how long I can trust my laptop, I broke down and bought a new one. I am still working with both of them and having to learn this new one.
  The L church I am serving has Wed. noon brief (30 min or less) services and lunches during Lent. Our church is host, and the other mainlines churches lead worship and do lunch on one of the Wed.
Only this year, 3 churches were in transition and one is so small and old they couldn't take on a Wed.
So, I was the one to contact the churches, schedule their Wednesday and got left with doing 2 Wednesdays myself. Today, will be my 2nd Wednesday. Sigh.
  The M church I also serve is planning for a mission trip to Liberia this summer and will be doing
2 weeks of VBS. The denomination has a mission school in Liberia. One of M's members has been
over twice and even "adopted" a boy - paying for his schooling.
   So this past Sunday, they held a fundraiser after worship. A local soup restaurant donated three kinds of soup and served it to folks. For a $10.00 donation, you could get a plain white paper placemat and decorate it for a Liberian child in VBS. Each placemat will get laminated and given to a child. How cool is that?
  Being as I couldn't attend the soup lunch as I am at L church on Sundays, I plopped my 10 bucks
down and took a placemat to decorate at home. Just $10.00 will fed a child in VBS a bowl of soup every day for 2 weeks! It was the best 10 bucks I have ever spent!
   How often does 10 bucks slip through our fingers at the gas station, card shop, grocery store, our favorite coffee shop with our hardly even noticing it?
   What a difference and what a life those same 10 bucks can have and bring and touch some child half way around the world in one of the poorest African nations?
   That's the biggest bang for 10 bucks one can get and oh, the joy it brings and is - to that one
child, and to this one, me.
   In these remaining days of Lent, see how you can give and get the best bang out of 10 bucks within your denomination or community. Make it the best 10 bucks you ever spend!
  

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

WELCOME 2017

I survived the Advent/Christmas marathon! Lots of church stuff, services, cooking and cleaning. But now, ahh...a moment's reprieve! A bit of breathing space before planning early communion class and Lent!
  In 2016, I ended an extended interim position and begin a new interim position - right in the town where I live. The commute is great - the fishbowlesque life - perhaps not so. I like a low profile and being broadcast on the city's channel is not my cup of tea! The sound person just has to cut my sound before I sing. Or I have to be more on top of turning the mike on and off!
  I put together favors for my niece's bridal shower and with several brilliant and resourceful women escaped from the escape room with seconds to spare!
   I officiated my niece's wedding - who would've ever thought she'd marry?!!? Surprise! And to a really nice guy. So I enjoyed a wedding I thought would never happen! And got to spend a long weekend with my family! Including Colorado nephew, his wife and my great niece!
   I received my first speeding ticket in 28 years and my first ever in a foreign country! If you're gonna get a speeding ticket might as well go all the way. At least it won't show up as points on my driver's license here in OH!!!!
   I have cleaned house more times than I can count, cooked more meals than I can remember, and wrapped and packed Christmas gifts which all got to their respective recipients in time for Christmas and the Christmas cards and letters all got sent in time.
   I did not get the Siberian Iris leaves cut down before the first snow. I still haven't gotten to them. Now I have to wait until the arctic blast is over. Maybe it will warm up in 10 days.
  I was tired a lot in 2016. I think it carried over into 2017! I am beginning to believe that as I slowly approach 60, it's just kinda that way.
   So what will 2017 bring?
   I pray more time to be: to simply be, to be with God, to be more grounded and not let the days,
weeks, months slip by me.
   I pray for good health, employment, time with family, and a summer trip to WI - after all, we
missed out on our garlic dill cheese curds and smoked salmon this year!
   I pray for wisdom, creativity, and strength in serving the church I am presently at, and ideas for
the 500th anniversary of the Reformation!
  I pray that when the time comes - I will be able to let Jazz go. He will tell me when its time to cross Rainbow Bridge.
  To live into my star word of "vitality"!
  Mostly, 2017 is in God's hands and I will be content in its unfolding.
  May 2017 be a blessing and be blessed to us all.