Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Days end becomes the beginning

Everyone has crazy weeks. Priests are no different. The odd thing about our lives, though, is that when it gets crazy it also gets a bit chaotic. Most vocations have some elements of stability, or some level of prediction: "When this happens, then this is most likely to cause a problem/present a challenge." Priesthood isn't like that a great deal of the time. Sometimes, it is just one thing after another. The only element linking the tasks before you is the reality of "being a priest." The reality is that sometimes a priest is a counselor, sometimes an event planner, sometimes a teacher, sometimes an executive, sometimes a site manager, sometimes a host, sometimes a "cruise director" and sometimes a coach....and you might even sometimes be the janitor. All depends on who is closest to the mop when the pipe breaks, either metaphorically or in fact.

In the course of five hours, I have dealt with working on our parish newsletter, organizing a response to a church cemetery issue, dealt with Sunday's worship leaflets, welcomed and opened a new year for our Day School, planned a funeral, held a staff meeting, called three vestry members for consult, searched for supply clergy for a Sunday I will be away for continuing education, planned and printed tomorrow's morning liturgy, reviewed the website for updates, talked to a new-to-the-area mom looking for a school placement for her daughter, signed welcome letters and, go figure, took some time out to pray. On top of that, we also had organizational meetings taking place for flowers, for a Christmas event and for a number of other events coming off in the next couple of months.

Now, I am NOT saying that I have a problem with ANY of these things...just that some days, I become impressed with just how flexible we have to be in order to "do church." The only rule seems, really, to be that there are no-or few-rules to scripting life in the parish.

It is more like surfing, at least that is how I imagine it! I am sure there are rules to surfing, but given that the activity takes place in such a fluid environment, those rules are more like...guidelines....really.


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