For the next seven Sundays, First Parish will be worshiping in the downstairs meeting room, to save heating expenses. The church has two furnaces, and one heats the large sanctuary. Although I'm told this has been done in the past, it seems to be a dim memory, and we will no doubt have a variety of ideas about how to do worship and be worshipful in such a different space.
Tomorrow will be our shakedown cruise.
Unfortunately for this preacher, who would like to have everything in place and arranged already, this is also the weekend for our monthly Bean Supper, which we serve in that same space. So any arranging or disarranging will take place after the Supper and after the volunteers have *their* supper, which to this preacher feels a bit deranging.
My goal for the next seven weeks will be learning to preach without being so dependent on my manuscript.
There, I've said it.
If you read me, you know I'm a writer, a writer who preaches. Now, people who hear me preach often express surprise that I am using a manuscript, so my relationship with it may be more discreet than I realize, a silent partner in the preaching engagement. But I've heard enough preachers I respect say they feel closer to the congregation without a manuscript that I feel I must give it a try, and what better time than in a new worship situation?
Which all sounded good until today.
So. I'm writing, but I'm also outlining. I will not have a pulpit. I don't even know where I will stand or where I would put a piece of paper.
Do preachers write notes on their hands like middle school students?
I would also like to mention we are in for a snowstorm tonight. How this will impact both the rearranging after supper and the engaging of the Word tomorrow, we shall see.