Monthly Archives: September 2006

Truly moved in.

We have definitely moved in. I spent the morning assembling my new elliptical trainer (a close relative of this). The Tony Little Gazelle was giving me calluses on my feet, and it was always meant to be a stop-gap. Now that we’re in our permanent home, I could get a true elliptical again. It’s been about 10 weeks since I did any exercise (not counting loading and unloading moving vans) but I was able to do 25 minutes tonight.

We also got NetFlix. The first set of discs to arrive were:

  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2, disc 6. I’d seen all the rest of that season, courtesy of the Mercer County Library, but that final disc (a 2-part season finale, go figure) was scratched beyond the ability of my DVD player to play.
  2. The Empire Strikes Back original theatrical release on DVD. I thought about buying these, so all my other Star Wars discs could have company on the shelf, but I came to my senses in time. They don’t pay pastors enough for that kind of foolishness, but now I have it on DVD temporarily. Then, hypothetically speaking, counsellor, I suppose I might have used Wiretap to record for my own fair-use rip/mix/burn purposes the instructions Darth Vader gives to his flunkies 1:53:07 into the movie.
  3. Walking With Dinosaurs. A bone thrown to the next generation. Actually, I like these too.

The next thing in my queue is Back to the Future. I’d have a copy of my own already, except it appears to come only in a three-pack. The other two movies are watchable, but nothing I have to own.

Back in the office

Well, Colorado was swell. The ordination went swimmingly, and it was truly wonderful to see so many friends from my old church. My pastor invited me to assist in worship the next day. Since the paperwork hadn’t gone out yet, my membership had not yet been transferred to my new Presbytery. I didn’t have to get permission to labor outside my Presbytery, since I was still in it.

I got back to California on Tuesday, and was back in the office on Thursday and Friday, working on a sermon. (“At Dunkin Donuts, it’s always time to make the donuts.”) I also located and began practicing a litany ((?) church terminology always confuses me) for the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper. My seminary PBUI didn’t offer a Word and Act class the semester I wanted to take it, and frankly I probably wouldn’t have taken it if they did. All I needed to do was to run through the litany about 45 times and I might have it down well enough to get through the service. And if I’m wrong and I don’t, well, I can console myself with the thought that Martin Luther nearly spilled the wine the first time he celebrated Communion.

I have pictures. But I haven’t learned yet how to post them. There’s a way that I’ve used in the past, but I can’t believe it’s the right way. I want to look for a better way to do it, and only fall back on the kludge when I’m convinced that there’s nothing better.

Ten days on the job. Time for a break.

I started pastoring on the September 10, and worked all last week except Friday and Saturday, my days off, except that I secretly worked some then too so I would have a sermon to preach on the 17th. (Not the whole time: we also went to Joshua Tree National Park.) It’s been a pretty good week or 10 days. Lots of surprises but only a handful were unpleasant.

But now it’s time for a well-deserved break. I’m off this weekend, so I can be ordained. You see, this past week I wasn’t officially a Pastor, because Pastors are Ministers of Word and Sacrament. I’ve been some kind of stated supply layperson. (I have no idea what “stated” means in terms like that, but Presbyterians use “stated” all over the place, whenever we start talking about our polity.) Anyway, this weekend I’ll be ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament. No raise in pay comes with this change, but I will be entitled to use the title “Reverend.”

Unexpected danger at the office

Prior to going to seminary I’d never worked in a church. I mean, I’d been an adult volunteer who participated in the various ministries of the church, but I’d never been on the church staff. So I never “worked” in the church. But I do work in a church now.

(In fact, I’m the only one in the building for much of the day, depending on what committees are meeting and so forth. (And in case you’re planning a robbery, I will point out that the only cash in the building is what I have on my person. So run that through a cost-benefit analysis first.))

Anyway, I’m discovering things I wouldn’t have guessed. Like for example, it turns out that freezer in the kitchen has about 10 partly-full half-gallon packs of ice cream. I discovered that today when I was looking to see if the freezer had an ice-maker. (It does.) Temptation being just as prevalent on church grounds as elsewhere, I immediately started hearing the whispering voice inside my head point out how this is the perfect crime. Who could remember how much each of TEN ice-cream cartons had in them? The only way I’d be caught is if someone weighed me. On the other hand, you have to figure that with 10 packages in there, some of them probably date from 2003. (“An excellent year.”)