Those of you who are still bothering to watch this blog may be wondering where I am! To be sure, I haven't kept up with Placement Reflections as much as I intended to-- or as much as I would like. When time gets crunched, I think blogging takes substantially lower priorities than the other things.
Still, I haven't forgotten this blog-- nor has my interest waned in maintaining it. I'll post more about that later (maybe tomorrow? maybe next week...).
Here's a glimpse at the last month (December):
- Of course, weekly sermons continue to be a requirement. In addition, we had two special services in December (A "service of lessons and carols" for lighting our Chrismon tree, and a candlelight service on the Sunday evening before Christmas) which added two mini-sermon "homilies" to the mix. So, seven sermons in December altogether! And, of course, the holidays themselves (Christmas Eve and Day, New Year's Day) and the reduced time for preparation has made these more of a squeeze.
- I also traveled to St. Louis for a two-day workshop I led as a consultant. This is a part of my ministry, and I want the church to see my consulting and other ministry that happens "beyond the walls of our church" as a ministry of our church as well. In other words, I want them to feel some ownership in this sort of ministry. (By the way, that trip was my third out-of-town trip in as many weeks.)
- During December I had three church members in the hospital, which required additional visits and trips; I'm learning that I really like visitation ministry a lot, and feel energized by it in a way. I like how hospital visitation brings a certain sort of spiritual comfort to people who may otherwise be scared, confused, or just feeling low.
- We also had a few of folks from the church over to our house-- not as many as we would like, but probably 4 couples came for dinner or at least a visit.
- In addition, we had a number of houseguests in December! 12/1 and 12/2 saw friends from St. Louis come in, briefly-- one member of the family spent the night (Jack and Molly's best friend Georgia), while the rest joined us for worship and a meal on that Sunday. Another St. Louis friend stopped through on her way home for Christmas break, and spent the night. Then my sister, mother, step-father, and step-sister all came for a long weekend for Christmas. On the following weekend, a dear friend and former student came to see us, again for a long weekend.
- Naturally, there were several parties surrounding Christmas. A family in the church had one in their home, and we had receptions after each of our special services. There was a brief one at the kids' school, too. On January 1, we had a drop-in/open house for our church family, and enjoyed having them see our new home.
- There was also a surprise called meeting of Presbytery in mid-December, which took up most of a day.
- Speaking of Presbytery, did I mention that I've been reviewing for my final ordination exams over the past month? One more factor of priority...
Needless to say, it has been a busy month (as Decembers always are in the church). I'll be examined for ordination next week by the Credentials Committee, and in early February by the Presbytery as a whole. If all goes well next week, I'll give a bit more attention to blogging here in January. At latest, February should see a bit more frequent posting.