With all that's going on right now - a busy time with our Aldersgate Special Needs Ministry, construction at the church, our Capital Campaign wrapping up, and preparing a new parsonage for moving in and the present one for selling - I walked into my office this morning to find the carpet saturated with oily water! A pipe had not been properly capped off during the replacement of the HVAC plumbing.
Not only that, when the line blew, the water shot up the wall and sprayed all over notebooks and files I had set on a small table to organize by projects. This included a historic album the Archives Committee had brought me to look at! Nothing to do but to call for help, move the furniture into the hall, start wiping up the mess, and send for a water vacuum. Our new secretary said she was impressed that she didn't hear any expletives during all this!
I had thought my church office would be my "sanctuary" of stability during all this moving business. So much for my plans! Today I'll try to sort the essentials into a working cubby until the Trustees get the walls washed down and the carpet replaced. I guess you really can't organize disaster. When life is a mess, you live through it.
Speaking of things in upheaval, this is moving day for pastors in our conference. My prayers today are for these pastors and the churches involved. That group includes my wife, but thankfully, not me. Yet when I got in last night from a late meeting her somber mood reminded me of the difficulty of saying goodby to people you love and with whom you have shared life and ministry. It is tough, and you don't have time to catch your breath, much less grieve. The next day there's a new congregation waiting to greet you.
Next year our Conference moving date will move to the last Wednesday of the month of June, further extending the "lame duck" period. Wish there was a way we could designate the week just before moving as "off duty" for those involved in a move. We could use our Retired Pastors and Lay Speakers to fill the pulpit that last Sunday and handle pastoral emergencies and visits during that week. Better yet, it wouldn't count as vacation.
Moving pastors could use the week as they choose, packing, family time, leisure activities, or whatever would help them make the transition from one flock to another. Perhaps some of the time could be spent in prayer and reflection on the ministry coming to an end, and assessing how to take the lessons learned into the new setting. Time perhaps for cleaning up some of the mess, before living into another one?