I was told in seminary that Christmas time and Easter time would forever more be a time of insanity rather than peace, and I have to say that that is partially true – the time leading up to Christmas is definitely insane.
As some of you know, the insanity of the past month really began right after Thanksgiving when I headed off to the National Youth Workers Convention in Charlotte. It was a time of relaxation and refreshment without question and I came back really focused on the road ahead. Then, the Tuesday I got back it all changed, when my boss, who I had just been bragging about, told me he had accepted another call. Two emotions really ran through my mind – one, I was really happy for him. Doug’s real strengths is organization, process, and diplomacy, and in his new job working with the Presbytery he will utilize all three skills. And this was a great opportunity to say the least. On the other hand, I was dissapointed. I felt so fortunate to have found a senior pastor who I could really work with. I also realized that this would put a whole lot of weight on me for a short period of time. Since we have no associate pastor right now, I’m the only pastor the church will have for the time period between Doug’s departure (the beginning of February) and the arrival of an interim pastor. Needless to say, this will entail a lot of work, but I’ve been through this type of thing before and I trust that God will guide myself and the church through it just fine.
However, that announcement touched off a series of events that happened fast. My previously scheduled ordination trials took on a new significance that following Thursday, followed by a special session meeting that night. Since then a lot of my time has been spent preparing for the transition and figuring out details, etc. Throw into that a youth group retreat the week of Doug’s announcement and my ordination trials and well, it was a busy time. (I’ll blog more about the retreat in another post)
The next major adventure was 5 services in one day on Christmas Eve. We normally have services at 8:15, 9:15, and 11. We cancelled our 8:15 so we only had two in the morning, following by evening services at 5, 7:30, and 10. I was starting to fade during the 7:30 service but after a 32 ounce Pepsi and a doughnut, I was wide awake for the 10 o’clock service.
Christmas morning we got up and went over to Renee’s mom’s house, then to her Aunt’s house for a late Christmas dinner, and then drove through the rain on Christmas day to arrive in Rochester Christmas night. We’re headed back to Pittsburgh tomorrow, in time for Renee to work on Saturday and me to preach on Sunday morning.
We’re also in the midst of having to transition our living room again. We finally broke down and signed up for cable, and bought a TV to boot. So there won’t be any room in the living room for a desk and a TV, so the desk and computer are headed downstairs. So hopefully we’ll be working on that on Saturday and finishing it up on New Year’s Day. Oh the joys of being a homeowner.