A Pastoral End to Vacation

Given that I’m a pastor, I think I’ll reserve my Sunday blog entries to talk about “all things pastor.” At least, as I see them.

Today was an interesting Sunday in several ways.

First, I was technically “on vacation.” This meant I got to sleep in a bit and not spend the early Sunday hours pouring over my sermon or Sunday School plan. Having switched to a new church structure over the fall, however, left some gaps in the vacation planning. I forgot to make sure someone was there to lead Communion, and I also neglected to work with our Worship Circle to plan out who would cover the different aspects of the service. Given that I’ll often worship at Central Baptist whenever I’m vacationing at home, this wasn’t nearly as big an issue as it might sound. It was more a learning experience. I suppose I could have scrambled at the last minute and set up some things, but I can’t stand it when people to that to me. It also would have required more work than simply leading a few bits in the worship. So I went over to worship, lead a few small portions, and served Communion. As an acknowledgement that I wasn’t really there I wore Jeans. No one a Central really cares what people wear to worship, and I’ve even worn shorts in the summer, but Jeans was a first. I gotta say, unexpectedly, it felt a little odd.

Second, Central got to take another step in establishing a relationship with near-by Urban Promise. One of Urban Promise’s staff members, Jennifer Giordano, brought a wonderful meditation on the blessing of listening, and the impact it has on others. She also brought back a nice report of some computers Central Baptist folks set up for a computer lab over the summer. The people who were involved in that project seemed to appreciate the update. Central is a small church, we can’t support every worthy ministry we come across and still do the ministry we are called to pursue, but Urban Promise seems like a good partnership fit for us.

Third, I got a text early this morning asking for help serving meals down at Riverview Estates. Riverview is known in the area as “the Baptist home,” and is only several blocks from the church. As such, it’s been a logical place for our church to serve and love – and we have many folks from the home who worship with us every Sunday as a result. Unfortunately, Riverview has been hit with a rash of upper respiratory infections which have left a number of residents confined to their rooms. Riverview’s director, who also happens to worship at Central, has been delivering trays to these residents all week – usually by herself. When the call came in this morning I knew Central would be able to respond, and we did. Four people volunteered to deliver lunches from Noon to 1:15 PM, and several more are set to deliver dinners tonight beginning at 5 PM. I’m impressed folks stepped up to help so readily.

It was quite an eventful end to my vacation, but I’m very glad for the opportunity to love and serve – even wearing denim.