Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Good Day

Today was a really good day. By all accounts, I should be exhausted, and in fact, I am. Every day this week has been 12 hours work days, and continuing to work at night. Today, even though I was at work for more than 12 hours, was a great day and I came home with a big smile on my face.

The day started with preparation for a lecture to be given at lunch. Then, once I got to the church, I spent most of the morning getting the projector set up and running through my lecture one more time. Additionally, I spent some time visiting with various people at the church and proofing the bulletins. Then, I gave my lecture to the Hannah Circle. They asked me to talk to them about worship. Well, that's wide open! So, I talked first about various definitions of worship, inviting discussion from the group. Then, I gave an overview of some worship themes in the Bible (God initiates through an event, out of that event develops a covenant, and worship is the outward manifestation of that covenant, etc.), talked about the many words in the OT that are translated as worship and how they are all highly active verbs, and finished off the talk with some words about how our worship can be active as well, and should be, yada yada yada. Anyway, it was kinda cobbled together from my thesis work. It was a nice time - just 8 ladies, but I mentioned to them that one of the things I've learned through this project is that I cannot change the whole congregation in 5 Sundays. However, we can learn and grow and change through one-on-one relationships and through small groups like this one.

After that lecture, I had another meeting - the Guild. These are the very helpful ladies who keep the candles full, iron the paraments, set up the sanctuary for the various services, keep the pew racks neat and clean, coordinate the flowers and create banners and other art in the worship space. It was, surprisingly a productive meeting.

Next, I met with one of our new Elders to work with him on the Scripture reading for this coming Sunday. Each of our Elders serves as a worship leader about 7 times a year, offering the Prayer for Illumination and then reading the Scripture passage for the day. I'm the one responsible for making sure they know what to do, and how to do it, etc. He was really great to work with and when I helped him for a while, he asked if he could stay and practice some more. An hour later he was still at it! Just earlier in the day someone had commented to me how much they appreciated how much time and effort our lay worship leaders put into their service. Since that falls under my duties, hearing that makes me very happy. I know that our lay leaders work hard and that through their work they are being spiritually transformed just as much, if not more, than those they lead in worship.

After that, I worked some more on the bulletin, and actually was able to spend some time... gasp!... practicing!! Which was nice since we were starting some work on Worthy Is the Lamb from Messiah. Certainly not the most difficult thing to play from Messiah, but definitely deserving of some woodshedding before trying to play for choir rehearsal.

This evening, when I finally got home at 9:30, I walked through all of this with my husband and he listened patiently. I was positively giddy while going through my day and was surprised that what was such a long day had left me in such good spirits. He pointed out to me that all these things that I described doing and being in charge of today were a direct result of what I have learned through IWS and this degree program. He is absolutely correct! The only thing I did today that was not related to what I've studied and learned over the past 3 years was playing for choir rehearsals.

So, even though I'm cursing the process right now and wanting to be done with the blasted thing, I have to realize that it has given me so much and taught me more than I'll ever realize. So, thank you IWS. Thank you Bob Webber. Thank you to all my wonderful teachers and classmates. You made my day :)


Blogger Sally said...

so good to read such a positive post- keep on keeping on ;-)

3:50 PM  

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