Gromit_Knit

Installation Service

I had fun doing the invocation for the installation service for our pastor today. He's been working for us since May, but with the whole conference rep thing and lots of other stuff to line up, we didn't get around to it until today.

I think as much because the pastor called me Wednesday morning to ask me what I wanted to do, and then couldn't get back to me until 10am. When I said I wanted it in the bulletin, he said that he had to have it by noon.  And I read some stuff, wrote some stuff, and right at 11:30 I wrote the invocation in one pass.



I kind of boggled at it, as it invoked some pretty serious Genesis vibes, and ended with a bit about the congregation having a dream to make whole God's Kingdom here on Earth. But I sent it to him with that in it and asked him to make sure it would fit the vibe of the rest of his installation service.  And he didn't change a word of it, though I'd have pulled another "And" anyway...

I've been a deacon for over six years.   Up doing the lay leader parts in services.  So I can deliver lines as needed, and read Scripture, and lead folks in all the things that need leading.  It's a bit like a play each week... with the parts pretty much the same, the content shifting, and having to do the impromptu fixes that any stage act needs when the inevitable thing goes wrong.  It's interesting because services were never really where God found me anyway... so having a bit of detachment always has worked well for me about the whole thing.

Fred was doing the Call to Worship, had written it and we both talked about the fact that our bits had pretty much written themselves, hadn't really needed us to do it.

My biggest worry was that I'd have a coughing attack in the middle of reading my parts, as my cold has just gotten worse. It was bad enough I took a two hour nap in the middle of the day...

I ended up having a lot of fun doing my bit and made sure I kept it clear and slow. One of the older member stopped me afterward and said, "Good job! Though, for me, as long as I can hear you, you did a good job." I have to admit that sometimes that's the crux of my judgment on someone's skills at the lectern. It did help having a dozen folks after also say that they thought I'd done a good job, and three folks say that they really liked the wording of the invocation. So that was cool.

Then I did an extra bit, invoking the Lord's Prayer as that was after my bit.  And then one of the teenagers tripped her way up the ramp on her three inch red heels and frantically whispered to me as the choir was doing the amens "What do I *SAY*???"

And I'm like... "You don't have your reading??"

"No... I have that, but what do I say before it???"

"Oh.  Just... The first Scripture lesson for today is from Matthew chapter:verse to verse..."

"Oh.  Okay."

And it was too late for me to make my exit gracefully, so I sat on the bench as I thought she was doing the second reading as well.

But then as soon as she did her, she hightailed it and I followed her to ask, "Aren't you doing the second reading??"

"No! This is all he gave me!"

I went to the pastor and asked who was doing the second reading, knowing that if I just moved like I had every reason in the world to do so, it would be okay... and he told me the guest preacher was doing the second reading, and that was that. Only one person commented on my quick check with the pastor, and he was telling me that he thought there were people ready to jump up and do the second reading... just in case. *laughs*

I sat by John and that was good, and lost my voice on the next hymn.  Whew.

There were a slew of desserts, after, and I got plenty of hot liquids and some delicious apple cake, and that helped a lot. I got Jet home, and put him to bed.

And when he popped up again, after, I got mad. John intervened pretty quickly, and he took the boy back to bed.

*sighs* I hate doing that. But I have to admit that after spending all morning at church, too, doing the Moon Festival snacks for post-church, and dealing with all the people stuff of that and then dinner with everyone before the installation service. It really had been just too much for me. I'm still not dealing with people that well. Especially if I can't have a one-on-one IM after with someone that I'd been expecting to be able to chat with. *sigh* That sounds like such a stupid reason now.

Drat...

Well, I'm also pretty sick. Which means I really should be going to bed, too. The asthma is wearing at me because the cold's triggering it big time. *sigh*

So more irritants than I like to admit to.

But Kelly made a good point, and if I'm going to try to deal with six weeks' intensive retreat with a bunch of people, I'd better figure out ways to test if I can deal with that many people on an extended basis, first. Even when I'm sick and PMSsy and stuff like that. *sighs*
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It's good all went well...but bad you have a cold. I'd say drink lots of tea and take care of yourself, but you clearly are. :) I hope you're feeling better soon!
*hugs back* and drinks lots of hot drinks very happily...

It was a good day. Definitely. I just hate still being sick... whew.
Ah, teens. *grin*. It's actually very valuable experience in public speaking, and I think most everybody has bad nerves the first few times speaking in front of a group. The awkwardness that comes with being a teenager doesn't help, either. I was shaking uncontrollably the first time I tried to give a speech at that age.

Good of you to help and make sure things were clear.
Yeah... I was shaking a lot my first public speaking thing, and it was in class, which was kind of nicer in some ways. Harder in others. But still good.

John Randlett, my pastor in Eastgate, was really good about being a steadying influence to those of us that were beginning out as the Speakin' deacons...

Just volunteers, us. But it was interesting to do.
I found it interesting that you say God never found you in services, and yet you spend so much time, love an energy with your church. I think that says a lot of positive things about you as a person.

I was never big on the hell and damnation part of the services and how everything I did or thought was a sin. Not to mention the whole gays are the work of the devil. Although, I think most pastors these days are playing up the good neighbor and positive points of religion. So, church was never where I found God either.

Now with my sons' entrance into boy scouts this year, and my hubby volunteering for a leadership position, I have a feeling our family will likely be returning to the more accepted church religion. It should be interesting after our long absence.

Get well soon sweetie.
Eh. The UCC doesn't do the sin thing very well, we admit that. Damnation is spoken of only in disparaging terms here, really. I think an Episcopalian once said that UCC stands for Universalists Contemplating Christ.

We have five gay couples in our church, we've done several "Commitment Services", a lesbian couple just had a baby shower thrown by church members with their families coming to support them as well, and for Gay Pride weekend, we had a booth and an entry in the parade. I've thrown chapter and verse at judgmental people, going hammer and tongs at it to the astonishment of other liberals... you mean those things are in the Bible, too? Jesus's original message was far more radical than even a leftist's dreams.

*laughs* I don't find God in services. I do find God working pretty hard in our congregation and in this particular church.

We really were wary of the Boy Scouts, too, but the only alternative we could find was a Wiccan based camping group and THAT wasn't what we were thinking of, either. *laughs*

I wish you and your family luck in finding a spiritual home, it's good when it finally connects. *grins*

Thanks for the wishes, too!! I need 'em. This thing's been lingering for two weeks...