there are so many things happening in the church and in our lives! And I really should have been here sharing all of it!
I'm making a list and maybe I'll get back and update sometime today.
1) Be the Church Sunday
2) Garage Sale Success
3) So many funerals
4) 5 baptisms in one sunday!
5) art project - genesis reading
1) Birthdays and more birthdays
2) finally getting the lawn mowed
3) starting my garden!!! (and clearing out the weeds)
4) got the grill, got the outdoor furniture, ready to bbq!
5) tasks that have been put off for a while finally getting done (insurance, wedding pictures, hanging pictures on the wall)
6) finally reading for pleasure again! (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, Water for Elephants)
Things are really falling into place right now and everything feels good. now if I just had more time in the day!
... ... ... ... ...
Finally back around to update a few things.
1) Be the Church Sunday: Our church organized an afternoon of community service and outreach to our homebound and nursing home residents. We used the quote "don't go to church, be the church" to kick off our event and even made t-shirts that have come in handy for other service projects as well. It was a great success - we helped quite a few people, brought the church to many who haven't been able to come for a while, and I think really came together as a church as well.
2) Garage Sale Success: The city wide garage sale was the last week in April, and we joined in. We made quite a bit of money with the items that were donated, but we also went through the church and did some spring cleaning. The biggest surprise: we found fourteen old greyhound bus travel posters in a storage room, and found out they were worth quite a lot! We ended up selling them to an art dealer in California for $100 a piece! We are using the money to jumpstart our building fund - an emergency repair and upkeep fund so that we aren't always taking money from our ministries to pay for the building.
3) So many funerals - I had 3 funerals in two weeks! And they were very very different, including my first funeral for a child - an infant really who was born with heart problems. It was extremely moving and quite a powerful experience.
4) 5 baptisms in one sunday! - Memorial Day weekend we baptized 5 great-grandbabies of congregation members! I was kind of torn because all but one of them were not members of the congregation, not even Methodist, and probably would never be. But this church is important for their families... its the space where they have celebrated important moments and together experience God. And as a former pastor said, we Methodists are the ones who "hatch, match, and dispatch" - ie: baptize, marry and bury when no one else will... or for those who don't have a faith home. I talked a lot throughout the service about the importance of making promises and nurturing these children, and how as a congregation, we are making those promises too. I think the message got across, and I look forward to keeping up with these families.
5) art project - genesis reading - this was something that was done at my last church. as we read the passage from Genesis 1, there was an artist who made a mural painting of what was happening verse by verse. So when the text came up again this year, I went for it. I got a very large piece of black foamboard and as the liturgist read the passage, I painted it. People really enjoyed it and I'm hoping to do more art with them (more interactive stuff for them to participate in) in the future. I think it will be one of those ways I can start to edge into more emerging practices.