Where I’ve been visiting in September

23 Sep

Update on why no updates have been made

I’ve been in a busy time as I’ve been working as pulpit supply for a church that is a five hour drive away from my home. The church is in a small agricultural town (pop 5000). It is in an area known for fruit (apples & grapes) and vegetable (beans, corn, etc) and hay production. If it was not an irrigated area it would be known for sagebrush and not much more. The congregation has about 40-50 people in it’s service on Sunday morning.

The interesting thing is that they phoned me “out of the Blue” in the later part of August asking if I would be interested in and available to be considered for a call. A few people remembered me favourably from the summer I spent there as a student in the early 90’s. Go figure! They heard my first fumbling sermons and remember me positively enough that my name came up when they came to soliciting suggestions from the congregation. (Of course I should not forget that many years have passed and they might have me confused with someone else)

At the time of their initial inquiry I was not willing to consider a long term call that far away, and I was not in a position to feel free to pursue one until various things locally had been clarified or finalized. (This coming week at a regional meeting the final details will be made clear with respect to my departure from my previous congregation and the road ahead should be clearer) In discussions with the people from this faraway church we agreed that I would come and preach for the month of September, until this meeting was done, and then we would talk further. We’ve talked about a minimum of two months and up to a year there as an Interim or transitional pastor. It is an open ended arrangement, which can be ended by either of us with a month’s notice. I conveyed to them I feel I should act on the advice my previous elders gave, namely that with my gift mix (and weaknesses) I would do well in a larger congregation where my preaching & teaching style and content along with my pastoral care skills could be appreciated by more people and my administrative and other weaknesses could be bolstered by other staff. Only if options in that direction neither surface nor work out will I take it as God’s direction to me to ‘specialize’ in small church, despite my shortcomings in living within the expectations of such a context.

So that’s a bit of where I’ve been. The time spent driving back and forth and arranging the other aspects and details of life, along with having no internet connection down there, have contributed to my seeming silence here on the blog.

I fully expect to have more to say towards the end of this week, including more description of the church I am serving now.

On Church evaluation and visiting reports:

I thought I was doing something original in my visits and reports on churches. It turns out, once again, that I am not. Take a look at the site links at the end of this entry and you will find just two places where similar activity is logged on the internet.


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