this is no longer my blog

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


several days

Well, I haven't posted in a while and you wouldn't believe all of the stuff I have to share!!
First, I didn't post my weekly list of worship blunders, and boy, this one's a doozie! Saturday evening service went off fairly well. This is the beginning of our fall stewardship program, and we have temple talks at the beginning of every service, during the announcements. Well, the woman who was giving the one at the Saturday service asked when she was supposed to give the temple talk and I said after announcements, if pastor remembers... Well, sure enough he didn't. So when he finishes announcements and as he's coming up to sit in his throne, I walk over to him and point out that he didn't announce the temple talk. So really, that blunder was on his part. The 8:00 Sunday service went off without a hitch, but then came the 10:00 contemporary service, where we use power point for the liturgy and the songs and prayers and such. Well, because Supervising had been working on his sermon, I was the one in charge of getting the power point slideshow ready. Well, no one had told me that with the change of the church season that there were a number of things that were different. So I didn't change those things in the slideshow... But that doesn't mean they weren't done differently. Which doesn't mean that parishioners weren't sitting in the pews thinking "It says we respond to the prayer petitions with 'Lord, Have Mercy.' Why are they making us respond with 'Hear our Prayer'?" But it was a good thing that all of the songs were done right. And people seemed to take it all in stride. I was oblivious to the fact that anything was wrong until after communion, when I was up at the altar with Supervising. (Note: The power point projecter is a pretty cool set up. It is on a little shelf mounted to the wall behind the altar, but several feet to the left of the altar (left as in if you were facing the altar from the pews). It projects towards the congregation onto the back of a screen which lowers down about 15 feet in front of it. So it projects backwards onto the back of this screen so that it shows up frontwards to the congregation. Supervising and I can still see the screen, but everything is backwards). So we are standing up behind the altar and Supervising forgets to do the "And now may the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace" bit, and I'm confused, so I ask him if it's my turn, and he says yes, but then he looks and sees the screen is different than what we have in front of us, so we start laughing, and finally I say we're going to say together the post-communion blessing, so Supervising and I have to read it backwards to read along with the congregation. Then the keyboardist plays the song that should have been played in between Supervising's bit and the post-communion blessing, but wasn't because Supervising didn't do his bit. So that makes us laugh more. The people that said anything said good things, and one woman mentioned that she liked it when we did improv church.
So those were the blunders this time. Then Tuesday evening we had the annual Chili Supper. That was truly an experience. It's advertised all over the community, so a lot of people show up. It officially starts at 5 but they start serving people at 4:30 because that is when people start showing up. So there was a steady stream from 4:30 on. I had a couple of easy jobs first. I started out delivering soup to the tables with Supervising. Then I went back into the kitchen and dried dishes. Then I was recruited to do the "take out" because people could buy soup to take home. That was not demanding at all. Then someone comes in to relieve me. So I went back out into the fellowship hall and mingled and tried to do something useful. So I started helping clear trash and dirty dishes. Well, then the high school girls manning the beverage cart (whose job is to push the cart around the fellowship hall and provide drinks to the people who sit down) needed to eat, so I took that over. HOLY COW THAT WAS THE MOST INSANELY HARD AND CHAOTIC JOB I HAVE EVER HAD! People get kind of cranky when they don't get their beverages in a speedy manner. And it's hard when there are 150 people and only one man and his beverage cart!! So I was wheeling that thing all over trying to meet the beverage needs of the people, while still finding time to socialize with the members. Here is an example of one interaction: The member I mentioned before who always gives me a good natured hard time about messing up in worship (thank you SWEET JESUS that he was not at the 10:30 Sunday service!) was there eating with his wife and another couple who are members of the church. He was giving me a hard time because they needed some refills while I was helping a table that had just sat down. Some other people came and helped me fill drinks. Well, after I was off beverage duty I came back around and he called me over and said "Now Mark, remember what I've told you. You do a good job, but you're not pretty." And I said something like "Gee, thanks." and then I asked if I could take their dirty dishes. He said I didn't need to do that and I said "Sure I can do that, I'm not doing anything else. And since I'm not pretty to look at I might as well be useful." They liked that and laughed a lot. Which proves that I AM INDEED FUNNY they just don't know how to handle it when I try to make jokes during announcements at church.)
Anyway, that's enough reading material for now.

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