Friday, August 19, 2005

A bit of this, a bit of that...

It's been a busy week - in some ways, it seemed like Friday would never get here, and in other ways, I've wondered where the week has gone. A week full of the Chinese curse - "May you live through interesting times." So I thought I'd just play catch-up before the weekend...

The preaching gig down in Danforth, IL last Sunday was very nice. I took the time to drive down Saturday night, and had a good, leisurely drive down (rather than get up at 4:30 to be ready to leave by 6 to get there by 7:45 for an 8:30 service). The congregation was very friendly, very welcoming, and affirming - and generous. The pastor and his wife (who were down at the now-infamous ELCA churchwide meeting in Orlando) had left me with several wonderful books. Not only did I get a copy of the Lutheran Book of Worship Minister's Desk Edition (I'd lost mine during Worship class a year ago) but a wonderful prayer book, a mini-devotional by Max Lucado, and a delightful volume by Craig Nessan titled Many Members, Yet One Body: Committed Same-Gender Relationships and the Mission of the Church (2004).

I thought the sermon went well, although I've done just enough preaching to know that "nice sermon, pastor" doesn't necessarily mean much - it can oscillate in meaning between "you finished before I actually fell asleep" and "God actually spoke to me through you." There were no tongues of fire visible, but no one actually burst into flames, either. As either Stan Hauerwas or Will Willimon once said when a parishoner said, "Good sermon, pastor," I'd have to say, "Well that remains to be seen..."

The living situation is still good - my landlord returns either Friday or Sunday, and the work on the upstairs apartment will begin in earnest. There is a bunch of painting and just general sprucing up that needs to be done - but my landlord seems genuinely ready to do the deal, for which I am grateful.

The work situation is still unsettled - but the amount of stress I'm enduring over it is decreasing. There's probably a blog post still waiting on the topic of whether I was really led by God or the Devil to self-impose a departure deadline. It may be the biggest mistake of my life...but the level of peace certainly doesn't feel like it, somehow. There are a couple of options that I've found quite by accident, while pursuing some "more traditional" job sources. Here's hoping, and praying...

The weekend is going to be unpacking and repacking boxes, a trip to the Chicago Air Show, and a return to Fourth Presbyterian. It seems I may get the chance to meet one of my sponsee's lady friend - which is a huge step for him as far as being "out" about his recovery. I'm just ready to get some real sleep - for some reason I just haven't been really getting the sleep I need lately.

All that to say this - I'm grateful to be here, sunny side up, suckin' air and sober - but for now, I think the "growing closer to sanity" thing would be to head for bed. Happy weekend, y'all...

4 comments:

Poor Mad Peter said...

"Enjoyed the service" is another non-committal phrase used by those in the pew on the way out.

As long as mainstream Christianity remains tied to the lecture (sermon) as the main vehicle of learning, the centre of public worship, the hook on which people's opinions of a minster are hung (for good and ill), people will doze off, tune out, remember very little of what was said in a typical Sunday service.

So, waking up in the last 10 minutes or so of the service, they realize that all they can say is "Good sermon, pastor," as they make their way out to Starbucks.

I'm pleased that you don't seem to be either resentful or despairing about this, Steve man. It's just part of the wallpaper of reality.

Quinn said...

"...sunny side up, suckin' air and sober...

There's a big difference between suckin' air and suckin' wind, and that's a fact.

Steve, your blog is a heartfelt daily lesson in living -- a truly satisfactory, sober, and stalwart life bravely lived.

Keep teachin' and preachin', brother.

Deanne said...

"It may be the biggest mistake of my life...but the level of peace certainly doesn't feel like it, somehow." For me, that feeling of peace has always outweighed the possibility of having made a mistake. That feeling of the *absence* of a heavy weight bearing down on me is priceless.

Michael said...

I am close to a monastery of nuns in New England. I have preached three novenas (all about Mary) there and once was in residence during a sabbatical, at which time I preached every day to them for nine months. I have also given them two long retreats and a number of other conferneces.

Once when they invited me to preach yet again, I told them I was afraid I would just be repeating myself. The young superior smiled and said, "Oh, Damien, you must have thought we were listening the first time."