It was (mostly) satisfying and gratifying to be back in worship this morning. I (mostly) felt loved
and affirmed and my heart was (mostly) warmed by the renewal of my connection with most people. As one wise old salt told me, "There will always be soul vampires, James, but remember they aren't' the heart and soul of this place." And that is true: this small congregation is about joy and trust, compassion and contemplation, practicing tenderness and asking forgiveness with a creative spirit and a sacred openness. Mostly, not everyone, of course, but most everyone - and I am grateful.
I found that I was full to overflowing playing music again with Carlton and Dave. I was thrilled to see how some of the lay leadership had flourished during my absence. I was encouraged to hear how my lay leaders all agreed that this sabbatical was well planned, well executed and well received. And I was blessed to shed a few tears with a few loved ones after worship. At a few points as the morning evolved I was reminded of this ancient joke circulated among pastors about a pastoral search committee reviewing the credentials of various characters from the Bible. I offer it to you as another part of my returning to the groove..
In our search for a suitable
pastor, the following scratch sheet was developed for your perusal. Of the
candidates investigated by the committee, only one was found to have the
necessary qualities. The list contains the names of the candidates and comments
on each, should you be interested in investigating them further for future
NOAH: He has 120 years of preaching experience,
but no converts.
MOSES: He stutters and his former congregation
says he loses his temper over trivial things.
ABRAHAM: He took off to Egypt during hard times. We
heard that he got into trouble with the authorities and then tried to lie his
DAVID: He is an unacceptable moral character. He
might have been considered for minister of music had he not 'fallen.'
SOLOMON: He has a reputation for wisdom but fails
to practice what he preaches.
ELIJAH: He proved to be inconsistent and is known
to fold under pressure.
HOSEA: His family life is in a shambles.
Divorced, and remarried to a prostitute.
JEREMIAH: He is too emotional, alarmist; some say a
real 'pain in the neck.'
AMOS: Comes from a farming background. Better
off picking figs.
JOHN: He says he is a Baptist but lacks tact and
dresses like a hippie. Would not feel comfortable at a church potluck supper.
PETER: Has a bad temper and was heard to have
even denied Christ publicly.
PAUL: We found him to lack tact. He is too
harsh, his appearance is contemptible and he preaches far too long.
TIMOTHY: He has potential, but is much too young
for the position.
JESUS: He tends to offend church members with his
preaching, especially Bible scholars. He is also too controversial. He even
offended the search committee with his pointed questions.
JUDAS: He seemed to be very practical,
co-operative, good with money, cares for the poor, and dresses well. We all
agreed that he is just the man we are looking for to fill the vacancy as our
Thank you for all
you have done in assisting us with our pastoral search.
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