This time of year is full of peaks and valleys. Certainly it is true for the average small-church pastor. However as a small-church pastor, I think I am safe saying that this is also true for a great many other people. There is a feast or famine element to the summer months. Many things are put off until the fall and--big surprise--when fall comes it turns out we put off more than we thought! Honestly, I am not so sure the whole summer thing is as awesome as we are meant to believe. I would rather have a couple of weeks off per season. I think it would be better for the kids if school was that way, too.
Anyway, I have had trouble finding the time to sit down and update Burbania Posts. A few years ago it would have even been more difficult. Now, of course, we are coming off our highly successful summer series so there are fewer things to get going again. In fact, many of us are still in the habit of going to church. Still, it takes quite a bit of effort to get rolling again and this past weekend marked the final turning of the corner into "normal" church life.
It pretty much started on Friday when I went into Boston to sequester myself at the Athenaeum. I needed to get away from the general hustle of getting the church ready in order to write my sermon and put the finishing touches on both a memorial service and a wedding planned for Saturday. After I got home I ran off to the wake followed by the wedding rehearsal. The next day I officiated both of these events and finished my sermon for Sunday.
The second Sunday in September is called "Kickoff Sunday" at Eliot. It marks the beginning of the church's school year. Naturally, this brings many adults back as well! Interestingly, though, a show of hands indicated that the vast majority of adult attenders were people who had come over the summer as well (just in smaller numbers each week). Perhaps the others will show up at next week's "Ingathering Sunday". The sermon was fine. I probably worried it a bit too much, but that is a natural thing for preachers getting back into the swing of things.
My day was not quite over, though. After the service and the Kickoff brunch, I eventually made my way to the local United Methodist Church to help out at the annual September 11 commemoration. I was in charge of the handing out of flower bulbs near the end. The bulbs were not my idea but I wish they were. I have a bag of them that will now go into the parsonage flower beds to compete with the weeds that normally live there.
As you can see, there were quite a few peaks and valleys over the past few days. One of my favorite parts of serving a small church (or this small church, anyway, where I have served for eight years) is that I know the people. In each case the peaks and the valleys have meant more because of this connection built over time. Maybe that is why today was more about the business side of the ministry. I dropped off the wedding license. I ran errands like picking up my new business cards (I finally put "Reverend Doctor" on them). This afternoon I will be studying for future worship services and then picking up the kids and driving them around. O the Burbanian life!
I have a variety of posts planned for the coming weeks and, hopefully, I will be able to work out some kind of schedule. I absolutely must tell you about how the ukulele worship experience wrapped up. Also, I am no longer a homeschooler and want to tell you about that. Certainly as we roll along there will be more at the church to share as well. We have great plans for the year...
That is all for now. I hope that all of you have survived your peaks and valleys intact.