Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Getting ready to start....Again

So much has happened to make this summer one for the books.

We had a pretty simple transition into the summer months in the wake of Lobsterfest/Mission Philly and the slump of July and early August. Aside from a few pastoral bumps, both good and bad, the parish seems to be pretty stable.

July vestry was a long meeting. We are in the midst of beginning to wrap around the new sense of direction and leadership. I am really excited to see where we go, as there is so much to do in both the near-term and long-term development of leadership. We are saying goodbye to our clerk of vestry, Gene Underwood, and I hope to announce the new replacement soon. I will miss his feedback, but I also understand the need he has to attend to his business concerns...Which at this point will exclude him from being able to attend vestry meetings.

The end of July was supposed to be restful, and in a way it was. We had a pet emergency when our male cat came up with calcium oxalate bladder stones. Horrible thing for him, stressful for us. He had such pain, and the only fix was surgery. So, instead of making day trips, we spent the days at home with him as he recovered. That, and a sick car, kept us around the house. This confinement was a good thing, I think. In the end, I now feel like I actually live at my home. Spending more than a few hours there a day has helped me to "settle in." Did we get a restful break? Debatable. But, at least we had some time away.

Vacation Bible School followed quick on the heels of vacation. So much fun! I love the experience of being with the children and youth of the parish, seeing them drink in the knowledge and experience of being in a community of faith. I am always impressed by their theology, energy, grace and willingness to try new things.

Now, we plan for the fall. So much to do.

Stewardship is under the gun, making the effort to lead the parish into giving...And attempting with finance, staff and vestry to close the funding gap in a sound, pastoral and theologically efficacious manner. In other words, lots of work.

Also, I have a lot of work to do around formation and education. There is an inquirer's class to prepare for, multiple adult fora, regular preaching/teaching...And somewhere in there some work on newcomers and pastoral care.

We also have to get the roof fixed, and Laura wants to do some work on the lawn. Hopefully, we can get some landscaping done before first frost, so the gardens will be in shape for next year's growing season.

And somewhere in there, I hope to start training again.

I do love parish ministry!

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