Wow, more than a week since I've posted! I worked for seven days in a row--is that a good enough reason?
Remember all that stuff I had to do? Well, it all got done, some of it better than others... Had a great time with the one wedding that happened this weekend (the other was postponed--the paperwork didn't come back in time). The sermon went very well Sunday, which is always a good sign. And I tried to take Monday off, but ended up planning worship for the next few weeks!
I do my worship planning differently now--here's why. I was exhausted most of August, and couldn't figure out why, until I thought about how much I was doing. So one Sunday afternoon after church I sat down and wrote down everything I did for the church. Then I sorted them out into things I had to do per my contract, the ones I felt I should do as pastor, the ones that could be delegated and the ones I had to delegate. And then I delegated! I also looked at where I could get more help, such as organizing weddings and creating worship. I got together a worship committee, and I'm already seeing a difference!
The next challenge for our congregation is going to be finding a place to worship. The church where we meet has decided to move to a smaller building, so we have to move as well! They would be delighted for us to move with them, so we have that option. But we're planning to look around and see what else is available. Which means more meetings and visits.
I really would like to see us in our own space. I like the pastor of the congregation we rent from--he's supportive and funny and generous and an all-around great colleague. But there's something about having your own space--where you don't have to take down the altar decorations every week, or bring them out, for that matter. Where you're the ones in charge, and can change things as much as you like without having to change them back. Where the worship space reflects your congregation's personality. Leasing space in another congregation's building is like renting a room for your weekly family dinner--every week.
The truth is, however, finances won't let us do anything else at this point. So we'll find something and make do. This congregation has survived for almost twenty years, sometimes renting, sometimes in our own space. We'll hang in there!