Skip to main content
life is funny.

it was a giant "high" the first few Sundays. the numbers at church nearly doubled their normal attendence. i knew that they would drop after people had checked out the new girl. no big deal.

right.

the past 2 weeks attendence was down by about 25. still higher than the past few years but it felt awful just the same. i know that it's not about "me" but i can't seem to keep from worrying that i simply am not a good preacher and i will "run the church into the ground" or something crazy. my insecurities have kicked in hard.

thankfully, i was invited over to help "put up corn" this afternoon. it was great fun learning about blanching, corn cutting techniques, and how to properly freeze the corn. it really was! i met more of the church family and had a great time talking and listening to their stories.

now i can "put up corn" on my own and the sweet corn we couldn't finish eating tonight will not go to waste! in the cold of winter we'll now be able to remember and taste the goodness of this summer.

the highlight of my day, the thing that totally made me smile was hearing that my host's granddaughter raised her hands when she prayed and told her grandma to do the same. if nothing else a beautiful and sweet little girl thought it was good to pray "like me." how cool is that?

Comments

mompriest said…
Ok. I've been at the solo pastor thing for about 7 years and in two different churches. So. First thing. There is nothing wrong with you. If you remember one thing it is this: NUMBERS DON'T MATTER. Numbers help, but they can not define us. CAN NOT. Mission and Ministry define us. So. Focus on missiom and ministry forget about numbers.

Secondly, you are doing everything right. Going to a "puttin up corn" event and coming to know the church family better, is really important. You want them to know you and you to know them.

Third, I worried ALOT that I was going to cause the demise of my former parish, which I did not...and I still worry that I will take this healthy parish I am now at, and ruin it....

So. We all worry, a bit, about that stuff.

But. We have to let it go. I mean we keep it there in the shadows to keep us on our toes and "honest"...BUT don't let the "fear" drive what you do, only let it inform you of what might be one possible outcome....

does that make sense?

And when all else fails, call in the professionals...which I have been known to do. (previously the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center,now a private mentor - consultant)

(they help)

Oh. And don't get anxious. No matter what. Analyze the anxiety for what it tells you. But don't get anxious.
Iris said…
(((revhipchick)))

I think it's great that you were included in the "puttin up corn." Sounds like fun!

Being invited into times like that is whta will bond you with thee folks.

You're doing great!
Patrick Moore said…
Truly remember that the world is your parish, not just the folk gathered on a given Sunday. Your influence will be felt through all the invisible webs of relationships that make up communities in which you pastor.

I loved the lectionary text this past week. You could almost see the disciples eyes glaze over with sleep from Jesus' preaching, so Jesus has to wake them up by asking, "Do you understand this?"

Somethings never change.
revhipchick said…
thanks for your thoughts and advice. i really appreciate the support.

i love you guys!

Popular posts from this blog

Sermon on Luke 24: 44-56

This morning I have the honor of preaching at my Mentor's church while she take a well earned break.  I'd be lying if I wasn't nervous. Thankfully, I live with an amazing editor so that helps.

I'm using the first story from Peter Rollin's The Ortodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales as an illustration. It didn't seem right to type it into my sermon. The stripped down version is that a man is put on trial for being a Christian. He has all the Christian trappings: regularly attends church, prays, reads scriptures and inspirational devotions, he even writes his own! Yet, he is free to go because there is no evidence that he is living as Christ and the Disciples did, he poses no threat to the status quo. I highly recommend the book. It's filled with wonderful and challenging tales, Rollins' uses the book to state that the scriptures and all our religiosity have no meaning unless we put those words and beliefs into action.

Update:  I left the book at home!!…

Cancer blues

Most days I feel really positive and good.  Today is not one of those days. Today is one of those days in which I've been thinking about having my lymph nodes removed and the risk of lymphodema in my legs. Dr. Gyn/Onc seemed more worried about this side effect than the actual cancer.  I don't want to go there but sometimes those images of log tree legs, remembering the pain from the swelling in my legs when I was pregnant, and imagining the drains being stuck in my body for a week or more, well it makes my skin crawl.

I know there will be good days and bad days. I try to keep the bad days from my family and friends. I know they are stressed too.

I feel like we are one of those families in which something is always going on and people start to pull away wondering WTF is wrong with them!

I'm used to being the care taker, not the one receiving care.

I have to find a new normal and that won't happen until after the surgery.  So I need an interim normal for the time being.

Cancer and unicorns

I wish I could remember where I found this prayer, it gives me strength and courage. 

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me know beg for the stilling of my pain,
but for the heart to conquer it.

Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved,
but hope for the patience to win my freedom.

Grant me that I may not be a coward,
feeling your mercy in my success alone;
but let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.

Written by Rabindranath Tagore

It turns out I have actual cancer.  In the tiniest of ways I am concerned but overall I am very positive about kicking some cancer ass. I think it has helped going through the precancerous stuff and emotions. I now know that I can get through the surgery. I know what I face and that I am surrounded by people who love and care for me and will help me through this.

A few months ago I had a "unicorn party" for my staff because things had been rough in the office and most folks had persona…