Monday, January 23, 2006

Short weeks and travel days

The countdown to annual meeting begins.

Today, all year-end reports are due from staff and lay leadership. I have a commendation of report/rector's report to finish up and then we move to edit and press. The nomination process is still underway. Vestry has experienced a LOT of transition in the past year with the end of the interim and some key resignations. That means that we have a great deal of new/unexplored ground to cover. The first years of new leadership are always tenuous, it seems. It takes time to set up healthy models of succession and to generate "schools for leadership" while at the same time respecting the way we have done things in the past.

I am excited about the people who have accepted leadership roles to date. There are some fresh, and familiar faces. This is, I hope and pray...And anticipate, going to be a great year.

This Sunday was a good one: The Walker Organ sounded for the last time in the main sanctuary. Charles Sundquist, substitute organist for Tim whilst he is with Emory at Newark's Diocesan Convention, played the last postlude voluntary. I had a moment of grace when the service ended. I usually am a bit manic when Sunday liturgies come to a close, having spent most of my energy on getting through all three main services, two coffee hours, several conversations and the regular routines of preaching/celebrating, leading, etc. So, as I am bouncing that nervous energy off in the Narthex after the last hymn, I come to the realization that NO ONE is coming out. There were about 35 people at that service and all of them sat through that last piece Charles played without moving. It was a grace-filled moment. I stood there in the doorway to the Nave just listening, both to the music and to the respectful silence the congregation gave to a moment of passing. Beautiful.

In seven days, the new organ arrives. It is on the trucks and making its way to us from the West Coast. In five days, the builders arrive. In one day, the Walker will be moved to its new home in the Chapel. In two days, the work needing to be done on the wiring and structure of the church to get it ready to receive the organ will be dealt with, and then we begin to install!

There have been some surprises along the way. One was the experience of seeing something that I had grown accustomed to disappear. There is a wall that separates the sanctuary from the choir. In order to deal with construction issues, that was removed last week. Talk about a sense of space! With that low wall gone, the barrier between the altar party and the choir was removed in a pretty profound way. I liked it.

We also spent some time at the 8 AM talking about what we want to see from that liturgy on Sunday mornings. I am pushing some folks on the issue of worship in the round in the chapel, but I think that is going to lead us to some clarity about Sunday use of the Chapel, 8 AM worship in general and moving with clearer intent toward a definition of that service. It will take time. Good talk, though.

Still working on lowering stress, increasing exercise and getting more sleep. L and I woke up early after going to bed early and I jumped on the bike in the basement. Hopefully, I can keep that up.

Pastorally, things are going well. I am trying to tune in a little more to those issues. Being rector is tough, and I want to make sure I don't lose my priesthood in attempting to fulfill a job role.

I also got a little email post from the bishop. After the Visitation, he told me, the assisting bishop told him that he had been extremely impressed by the joy, energy and verve that Trinity is manifesting right now. A positive note!

Laura and I leave for Michigan sometime this weekend. We are going to my cousin's wedding, whereat I will "tie the knot" for her and pronounce the union. What shall I wear? ;)

May God continue to bless us.

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