Church today was mostly me (or, that's the way it seemed). We did have a reader for the 10:00 service. It was 81 degrees out on the lawn at 8:00. People sitting under the trees said that it was "bearable". High praise, I'm sure. I asked for something "cool" during the prelude and the keyboard player starting playing "Winter Wonderland." Everyone clapped.
It seemed like every hymn we chose had 5 or 6 verses. What were we thinking? Between the services, three women were talking about how much they liked one called "The summons." They asked where it was from. It is from the Iona community. It begins
Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don't know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known?
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?
It's unusual to hear positive comments about new hymns ever.
At 10:00, one of the ushers said it looked like it was going to be "intimate." It didn't look like there would be any children for the children's message except for one talented 5th grade boy. Two women about my age volunteered to come forward, and skipped up the aisle together. As well, there were three or four other children from another family who sneaked in after the last minute.
For me, the high point of the morning was the music of the brilliant 5th grade student. He played the prelude and offertory on the piano. We first heard him play when he was in 2nd or third grade. He is truly a child prodigy. I also enjoyed watching the older woman who sat behind him. She is a concert-trained pianist and organist. Every time he returned to his seat, I could see her whispering in his ear and patting him on the back. They both love music.
One parish member who likes to rate my sermons, gave me a "10" this week. He does have a set of criteria, which he has shared with me. So he's not just shooting in the dark. I said "thank you," but secretly didn't think today was my best. I think my chief critique of myself is that I didn't break any new ground, I didn't allow myself to really struggle with the text.
I did tell a couple of good stories.
Severe thunderstorms this afternoon disturbed our naps, but left the air cleansed. It's a new day. I'm looking forward to vacation.