Wednesday, August 13, 2008

lots of stuff, not lots of time

I have about 5 blog posts brewing, on the following topics (I'm hoping that putting this out there will force me to be accountable and actually finish these...):

* Scotland, week 2
* being an Associate Pastor when your Senior Pastor has gone away for good
* wondering about models of ministry and the personality of pastors, and how those come out in an interview process (or don't)
* something about religious education and the idea that faith is "forced down our throats"
* books books books.  I've read a few that I haven't had time to post about.

Unfortunately, dot number 2 is keeping me sort of pre-occupied.  Things that are stopping me from blogging in a coherent way this week:

* the first of at least four weeks in a row preaching, which I've never done before (exciting!)
* talking with potential interim candidates
* catching up with my intern--she has only two weeks left!
* the bible in 90 Days, which is now in the New Testament.  Once we get out of the gospels (so, in about five more days) I am going to need to spend even more time on this because my dislike of Paul makes me a) not want to keep reading, b) not want to teach the class, and c) need to do more prep in order to write about/teach about the material.
* a memorial service this weekend that is going to be very difficult
* frustration about communication (or lack thereof?  If a person doesn't take in what I communicate to them, does that mean we have a communication breakdown?  Os this in some way something I can fix?  Not sure yet.)
* planning the youth ministry kick off (in less than two weeks!)
* Team Night and the following called session meeting for examining new Deacons
* getting ready for fall in WEAVE (adult education/fellowship), plotting with admin and choir directors RE fall plans, etc etc etc...
* plus all the usual stuff that happens every week (worship planning, bible studies, meetings, etc...)

So--I'll blog as soon as I can.  And it will be brilliant, I swear.  :-)  In the meantime, you can join my NT blogging misery over at the church blog, you can send me happy preaching vibes, and you can discuss the following question:

Does playing Scrabble on facebook need to be as painful as it has become with the loss of Scrabulous to Hasbro and their inept coding team?


  1. Oh my goodness! Teri, you have A LOT going on!

    The communication thing? I don't know the answer, but I can sure relate. There are a couple of people who consistantly hear things very differently than I've said them. It's hard to work with.

  2. If you need to bounce ideas/thoughts/frustrations about being an AP when the SP leaves, let me know. It happened to me. The SP I began my ministry with in my first call left after a year. I "worked with" (teamwork actually seemed to be an option) an interim for 2 years, then I did 2 years with the next called pastor (which was about 1.5 years too many).

    I've got some ideas about how to keep sanity in this kind of transition and help keep roles clear. #1 - Try to protect yourself by not taking on extra stuff if the interim is lazy or wants to change up roles. It can be very hard to watch things drop through the cracks, but if you take on too many of them without adjusting other duties you will get burned out and it will be difficult to switch stuff around again when the new SP comes on board. #2 - Check out your presbytery's policy on a continuing pastor being present for PNC activities. My presbytery's policy was very liberal about that, but our COM rep didn't help interpret that to the PNC, so I was left out of it more than I should have been. I didn't need a vote or say, but as the one who hoped to stay a heads up about what they were sharing with the senior (particularly about my position and my areas of ministry) could have made this go much smoother. I did get to talk to the final candidate, but I think they made a big mistake by only looking at one in the end.

    Anyway, I could go on and on. I've got lots of thoughts in this area! I saw you said earlier you'd pass the preaching on if an interim didn't get settled soon. I'd encourage that ESPECIALLY as the rest of the program/ministry year is kicking into gear. Don't get burned out doing two jobs yourself!

  3. Regarding Facebook Scrabble - install Wordscraper. It's by the Scrabulous guys, and it lets you design and lay out your "Scrabble" board, or play a random one. The different layouts really do change your strategy, and I'm enjoying it a lot.


  4. ditto about wordscraper.

    Call/email about the the others - will be back in office on Friday, have S3 stuff next week. YOU are OK - watch the boundaries - allow yourself space to grieve - don't take on the world. You are brilliant. You will learn from the new IP - what you will learn is TBD!

  5. Re: Christian Ed--We seem to have a cultural thing going that everything having to do with religion should be enjoyable and voluntary. Few parents would yank their kids out of school if the kids report that "learning the multiplication tables is boring and I hate having to memorize them." But have the kid report that they don't like Sunday school and there's hell to pay. (So to speak) Not that we shouldn't do all we can to make our ministries positive and engaging but, sheesh.

  6. That's the same example I was thinking of, actually: no one says "I'm never doing math again because the multiplication tables were forced down my throat" but people say "i'm never going to church/reading the bible/attending SS/praying/saying call-and-response liturgies again because it was forced down my throat." So weird.

    Particularly when I hear people my age or younger say stuff like this, I get defensive because I just don't think most mainline churches have been approaching Christian Ed that way for the past 20 years--memorization has gone by the wayside, expectations of attendance or learning have disappeared, etc. It's bizarre. There's something else going on here and I don't know what it is yet...

    and now I don't need to write a blog post about it, because I just summed it up! LOL.