All things pastor-y

I survived.

In fact, this is the first year so far that I have not had a massive virus as soon as I finished the Christmas Eve service. No hard-core crash of the immune system this year! That is mostly due to how much help I had from members of my congregation, who did a ton of work for the lead-in to the big Christmas hubbub. Delegation is hard, but it really pays off!

Christmas Eve went, essentially, flawlessly. There were little flaws, the only noticeable one being the laptop throwing an error message up on the screen mid-service, which I’m sure everyone noticed. But it didn’t interrupt the flow, and I got it off the screen pretty quickly.

Our sanctuary altar space (ie, stage) was set to resemble a giant advent wreath, made out of poinsettias, with the purple candles on stands and the Christ candle in the center by the cross and manger. Rather than do a simple Christmas Eve story, we started further back; readers came up and read a passage of scripture, and then a short paragraph about a kind of darkness in our world (brokenness, violence, oppression, disaster) and how Christ is the light in that darkness (forgiveness, peace, liberation, healing), and then lit the advent candle.

Interspersed were prayers and hymns and music of all kinds–music ranged from Ave Maria (“In Latin!” the organist crowed, to which the Ex-Catholic pastor asked, “It comes in other languages?”) to Choral something or other, to live contemporary music by our band. Hehe.

The sermon was eh. I dislike preaching to a roomful of people I don’t know and who are easily distracted by kids, falling scenery (error messages…), cars passing by on the road, or the conditions of their digestion. Can’t read their faces to see if they care at all, so it’s like I’m talking to myself out loud for six minutes. I’m told some preachers appear to be doing this all the time–but I would never say such a thing about a colleague. In print. Anyway, the service ended at 65 minutes, and was excellent. My only complaint was that the offering was so small that we really shouldn’t have bothered with taking one.

My best pastor moment of the season, though, came at our New Year’s Eve dinner. Twelve adults and my daughter went out to a local restaurant, and as we were leaving, I saw two of my congregants with another party by the door. I stopped and shook hands with D, a fiesty old usher who is hard to please, and gave his wife C a hug, and wished the others at the table (I didn’t know them) a pleasant meal and Happy New Year. As I rounded the corner toward the door and D reclaimed his seat, I could hear D explaining that that was his pastor. Another old guy at the table exclaimed, “Now I can see why you go to church so often!” Unfortunately for the poor fellow, my mother was still standing right there, and being the gutsy broad she is, piped right up, “Oh, thank you! That’s my daughter, and people always say we look alike. I haven’t had a compliment like that in ages!” Heh.

So the truth is out. No one gives to the offering because they’re too busy oogling the pastor, who is teh hotness. That must be it


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