Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Sunday Report

We had a good crowd at worship on Sunday. Unfortunately, we had no air conditioning. The Session approved plans to replace the ancient duct work under the sanctuary earlier in the week but when the a/c units heard the news and wanted to help, the motors blew out. One blew out bearings, the other just began grinding. With temperatures in the 90's, a few box fans and some funeral home wavers were all the cool available.

I've been preaching for enough years to know how to pivot for changes in worship. I think it's difficult to throw me off when babies cry, people cry, fights break out, bulletins are wrong, organists get sick, bees infest the sanctuary, birds fly around the ceilings, trains blow by, truckers honk horns, electricity fails, etc. No problem. I can pivot and adjust.

Sisters and Brothers in the Lord, I can't deal with heat. It's too bad that my spoiled United States self gets distracted by swelter. I confess that I'm a whiney snort about dripping through worship. Sorry.

When the congregation realized jackets needed to be taken off and folded on the pews, fans were necessary for survival and that the preacher was not wearing vestments, they were kind. Seemed like a good time to preach a homily based on the sermon rather than the full 14 minutes.

Shorten the sermon? Oh yeah. Problem time. I did a lousy job of summarizing my sermon.

Like many preachers, I "let down" to process the morning sermon late Sunday evening. By bedtime, I've confessed to God that I am not a great preacher, am hardly worthy to approach a pulpit and should just go flip burgers for the rest of my life. I hear phrases of my sermon in my head and stomp around beating myself up.

I assume this criticism is part of the process. By Monday, I'm ready to being working on another sermon.

Not this week. Monday was a horror re-hash of Sunday. ALL DAY LONG.

I'm not proud of myself for this, I'm just sorry that in my ineptitude, I lost the ability to clearly convey the Good News because I was HOT.

Small town workers will finish the repair work in three weeks (3 weeks, urgh!) if everything goes well and Sammy doesn't go down to the Coast to shrimp for a week with his brother and if J.D. doesn't have to go over by his Mama's to help his sister-in-law move into the new trailer.

By the way, any of you out there want to guest preach at the church for the next three Sundays?
Just wondering....

St. "Too Hot" Casserole


mibi52 said...

...so you're supposed to bat a thousand even when it's a gazillion degrees out? Cut yourself some slack, girl!

I do a lot of singing (semi-pro) and my voice teacher says anytime you get even to 85% of what you want to get across, it's a gift. Besides, I'm sure there was a nugget in the homily for someone - you just didn't see that it touched him/her.

God keeps us humble in the most interesting ways.

Time to throw the next load of laundry in the washer before work...

Purechristianithink said...

Maybe the Methodists would let you borrow their place in their off hours for a few weeks? Or how large is your summer crowd--surely some member has a nice big living room . . .

revmom/cheesehead said...

I sympathize, boy do I sympathize! There's a whole robe discussion going on over at my place, so you know I've been there!

Friday Mom said...

Yeah, I sympathize, too. When I preached regularly, Sunday nights and Monday mornings could be brutal. Give yourself a break! It's not worth it....

I have to ask this... There must be a story behind the "fights break out" remark. Please tell.... Wow! You're my hero. Anyone who can preach and make folks break out in a fight has got to be good. :-)

Aola said...

I don't guess I understand why you feel like you have to be more than human because you are the preacher?

reverendmother said...

Oh, I do the agonizing as well--and often don't have sweltering heat as a "convenient" excuse!

I don't know where I picked this up, but often (when I remember) I do this visualization/prayer thing where the sermon is this big kite, and I let it up on its string, waaaaaay up high... and then I cut the string, and let the Wind take it where it's gonna go.

Don't be fooled though--sometimes that sermon comes flying back down sometime later, smacking me upside the head. But most of the time it floats mercifully out of sight.

Prayers for you--heat is tough. Maybe some jokes to diffuse the situation? "Tempted to stray from the straight-and-narrow? Consider this heat a preview of what is to come...?" LOL

Lorna said...

We have had a heatwave too. For Finland :) A week ago we had planned an agape meal instead of a regular service (whatever that is). It was hot! I shelved the sermon - spoke on the cup of fellowship - and we sipped cool juice longer than originally planned.

And God just smiled and smiled :)

Quotidian Grace said...

I think you are a saint indeed to have carried on. I don't know if your church was built after the air-conditioning era, but our church is constructed so that it is TOTALLY dependent on a/c. Windows are fixed and can't be opened, etc.

If our a/c failed in the middle of the summer, I'm sure our pastors would march everyone outside for a rousing chorus of the Doxology, issue a benediction and send them home where hopefully the a/c works.

Sue said...

I hear ya. We had a sweltering Sunday this past week also and no a/c. Is there anything more uncomfortable than that icky pool of sweat that rolls down your chest and collects in your bra???

Be good to yourself -- it's summer after all...

the reverend mommy said...

Ok, time for a bad joke.

The heat's on in the kitchen and the Casserole is baking. Sounds like you flipped yourself over to cook on the other side yesterday.

I just sometimes ponder the fact that A/C was not standard in these parts of the country for years and years and years. I remember my mother and grandmother "slipping out" of their dresses when they got home from church and wandering around in their slips.

It's just no fun to be hot. Cold I can deal with (for the most part) but not the heat.

Anonymous said...

It does get hot when the AC kicks out.

The old churches were actually designed for heat problems, but, when AC came in, those old amenities were remodeled over by our parents, that is: (1)windows that open;(2) ceiling fans; (3) transoms over doors to allow the air flow; and (4) high ceilings.

SC's church probably has windows locked by paint, with a ceiling lowered to have all the AC ducts, with all fans removed.


Natala said...

i've stopped working out, instead i just sit outside for 30 min. and i sweat just as much. it's disgusting here as well.
i'm moving to florida to cool off ;)

i'd just like to note how impressed i am that folks are still showing up to church :) despite the heat troubles.

mark said...

It's been sad that God can even speak through the mouth of an ass... so who's to say that God couldn't speak through the mouth of a sweating preacher? I'm sure that something in what you said was able to touch somebody(s) in your congregation, whether they let you know it, or not.
So have faith that the Spirit can work even when our flesh is weak. You are an amazing pastor, of this I am sure.