Ministry

Day One

Chancel
Today I began my work as Interim Pastor at Main Street Church in Old Textile Town, a tall steeple downtown church in a town of 20,000 or so. The church has a membership of about 175, a large education wing, a lot of stairs (built on a hillside) and a good bit of furniture from the 1970’s.

This is a picture of the chancel. The only picture I can find on the web of the outside of the building is from 1917 and includes scaffolding, so I will try to find something better to scan or get a picture myself later. Today’s weather was Rain!Tastic! so that will have to wait.

Herewith a few important notes on my day:

  • If I’m going to drive 45 minutes to work, I need to drink coffee before I leave the house. Buying it on the way to the turnpike will not suffice.
  • I know this from the yawning on the way there.
  • My husband kindly followed in a second car to help move my zillion boxes of books, etc., into the church.
  • There is no more room in our house for books, so they have to live at the office.
  • My husband will never admit he is tired out by feats of strength.
  • The elevator at the church makes a funny noise when the door opens, and I will be unlikely to use it again until I move my books out when the job is over.
  • I have a lot of books, and I have not read all of them. And some of them I probably read in seminary but have forgotten already. This might be a good year to take another look at them.
  • Most people are pretty nice, including the colleagues who invited me to their ecumenical area clergy lunch before most of them had ever met me.
  • The soup made by a Methodist pastor was excellent.
  • I spilled it on my dress. So graceful and dignified.
  • The UU pastor right down the street went to seminary with me, but we never knew each other. We’re having lunch next week.
  • I never realized how much of what I did at Small Church could be done by a secretary or office administrator.
  • I think I like working at the office better than working at home. (Ssh! Don’t tell anyone! It’s just possible I may do better without distractions!)
  • I’m not sure unpacking is really the same thing as working.
  • On Tuesdays I will be working at/from home, so I won’t really be testing this until Wednesday.
  • Dial-up is excruciating. But DSL is supposedly on the way, so we will consider this to be temporary.
  • I received a ring of five keys, but not a one of them will get me into the church building and the sanctuary. (My study is in the education building, along with the church office.)
  • I originally planned to take the kids down to see the church after school tomorrow, but since I don’t have a key to get into the sanctuary, I guess we’ll wait for Sunday.
  • They are planning a luncheon on Sunday to welcome us, which is sweet.
  • At every church I serve, someone will need to build a box for me to stand on in the pulpit. It can’t be helped.
  • Driving home 45 minutes at the end of the day is not so bad if you have discovered the cute coffee place in Old Textile Town and take a few minutes to stop for a cup.
  • I’m sure if you noticed that I was talking to St. Casserole on my cellphone while driving, you would understand completely.
  • I am wiped out tonight. Thank goodness Pure Luck is the designated coach for the head-expwoding Sunshine Math.
  • Finally, I feel good about the new setting and excited about the work and a little weird about working from home tomorrow and a lot eager to get there again on Wednesday.

27 thoughts on “Day One”

  1. Congrats on the new job! Sounds like a good first day. And if you’re where I think you are, there is an excellent organic farm not too far away that can provide you with wonderful veggies all summer long.

  2. Very upbeat and very exciting. Your notes from the day sound like they could be a couple of verses from Annie’s ‘I think I’m Gonna Like It Here’.

  3. Sounds like a busy day. I’m happy to hear someone else needs a stool for behind the pulpit. I need one for the chancel chair as well. Swinging your feet in a really big chair does not look dignified. Its kind of fun but….

  4. I want to know if those tide sticks work too. My shirt/blouse/bosom is a food magnet. I want to know why that happens.
    On another note, I am praying for you as you transition to a new place – sounds like you might have some time to listen to books on CD during travel time!

  5. Congrats on the new job!
    And, speaking from personal experience – YES, Tide to Go does work. Go buy one now and put it in your purse.

  6. What Mindy said about the Tide to Go stick. I never leave home without one.
    I need a box behind the pulpit in every church also! Power to the small of stature!

  7. My library offers audiobooks for remote download to MP3 players! It ROCKS! I bet yours does too. Great for driving.
    I’m so excited for you. You are a COURAGE ICON for me!
    Yay for the secretary and office admin! Yay for what you will be able to do that you didn’t know you weren’t able to do before, because you were doing all that other stuff!

  8. Sounds like a wonderful day. Unpacking is the same as working. In fact is work of the worst kind, so it counts as double any other work. I hope the day at home worked well today.

  9. As a former interim of nearly a dozen year, my office was a variety of boxes that I was forever packing and unpacking! Good to set up your space and have some familiar things that comfort, inspire and assure you in the newness of this new ministry.
    Yup, I never fail to dribble on my “shelf” – soup, and anything tomatoe is guaranteed a spot on my shelf.
    I’m with you on the box in the pulpit! This time, the church had to place blocks under the metal sheet to raise up from the deep lip of the pulpit, I could barely turn my manuscript page without awkward contortions of my hands and wrists!

  10. Yea, you made it through the first day. And boy does it sound familiar. Make sure you get a key to the sanctuary and that small box. I know how it is too. Lovely chancel area.

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