this is no longer my blog

Sunday, March 20, 2005


the day, in hindsight

So there's something you need to know about my supervising pastor. He's a very fly by the seat of your pants kind of guy. He isn't the kind to put a lot of thought into doing something, he just does it as it comes.
Now, there's soemthing you need to know about me. I'm a very fly by the seat of your pants kind of guy. I don't put a lot of thought into doing something, I just do it as it comes.
When you have a worship service that, although there are many of the same elements as a usual worship service, but that requires different people to be in places that they aren't normally at during certain parts of the worship service, and you didn't take the time beforehand to go over the service and to figure out where people need to be and when, and then how they would get to where they needed to be when they needed to be there, it can get to be very stressful and kind of hectic and really confusing. Does that make sense?
So there was a lot of stuff that my pastor and I figured out mere seconds before the services started, and each service was significantly different enough that some of the things that were done for one service were totally different for the other. But things worked out well, and Supervising Pastor and I had to shuffle some things around. And thankfully (and contrary to the way it usually seems to work out) the one who ended up with more added responsibilities for the service was Supervising Pastor. Of course, a lot of that had to do with the fact that he's the only one that can preside at communion, and I was going to be in the balcony with the readers and musicians, and for me to be up front to do a lot of what I would normally do would have required me to rush out of the balcony and up to the front of the sanctuary. And doing this would have removed a singer from our already rag-tag worship band. So I managed to get him to do some of the stuff I should have done.
And, over all, most of the people enjoyed the miming. Now, I know some people have averse reactions when they hear "mime" and think of the skinny guy with the white face and striped shirt and black pants pretending to be in a box or pulling something heavy on a rope or following someone and mocking them unknowingly. But really the only thing these mimes had in common with those mimes were the white faces. And they were silent. But we read the Passion narrative from the balcony, and they silently acted out portions of it. They did a very good job. And besides the previous quote, most of the people thought they did a very good job. Even some of the other men in the Curmudgeon Cohort with "Tom" stopped and talked and complimented some of the youth. Tom just shook my hand, shook the pastor's hand, said his piece and then something along the lines of that he wants to be called the next time the youth do a service, so he knows not to come, and then walked off without shaking the hands of the youth who were lined up after pastor and me. Really, that whole scene made me angrier than when he came into my office with the list of grievances he had with me.
Then, after the service, a group of us went bowling. It was fun, although as we walked into the bowling alley (which also houses a small arcade, laser tag, and a few other things) I saw that one of the four year old boys from church was having his birthday party there. Although I wasn't invited, so I didn't go up to say hi. But I did see a lot of people that I knew bringing their children to the party, so I was friendly. As we were bowling, one of the young men was was with us, who we shall from here on out refer to as "Clark" mentioned that he was hungry. I mentioned that I was hungry. Supervising pastor's daughter (now shall be referred to as P.D.) mentioned she was hungry. I remembered Clark mentioning something yesterday, when we took some of the high schoolers for pizza, about a nearby restaurant named Bennigans. So I said that we could go to Bennigans after bowling. That got Clark excited because Bennigans is his favorite restaurant (more about Clark in a moment). So the group of us drove to Bennigans for supper, and then I got back to church in time for the senior high bible study, which was really spent walking around the church with the youth and P.D. trying to figure out the details for a lock-in that they want to throw for the 5th-7th graders (PD also happens to be the Youth Ministry Committee chairperson).
Okay, now here's the deal about Clark. He is out of high school, but not yet in college. I think he's undecided about the direction his life is going, and what he's supposed to be doing, so he's spending most of his time working on the farm with his dad. He's kind of in that limbo, where he just got done being very active in the youth group, but now he's no longer a high schooler, and he really should be included in the young adult group, but it's weird because most of the active young adults are close to 10 years his elders, and one of them is actually a high school english teacher. So he's kind of in an awkward transition period in the church right now. And I think his mom is worried about him, and wants him to get involved in things, so she pulls him into a lot of the high school activities, like Youth Sunday, especially because we have a shortage of males in the high school youth group. But I think he wants to make the transition out of the high school stuff. And I want to include him in the young adult stuff, but I know how weird it would be for both him and the english teacher, to go from a student/teacher relationship to interacting in a social context. Although, english teacher has just had a baby and will probably be out of commission for several of our next young adult activities, so I might drag Clark along to some of them. The funny thing is, Clark and I are very similar in a lot of our personality aspects, and today at the bowling alley someone asked if Clark and I were brothers. So I feel for him, and know what it is like to not have a niche to fit into. But I don't know what it must be like to feel like you don't have a niche in a community in which you have had a niche for a very, very long time.
Anyway, I think I might just be babbling at this point. I'm not entirely sure if any of what I just wrote is even blogworthy, or if it made much sense once it left my head. But it's there, and I feel that to leave without posting it would be a waste of the half an hour it took to type it out. So it's staying there.

addendum: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that today was my LAST CONFIRMATION CLASS! The 8th graders do not have class on Easter Sunday, and then the next week they are being confirmed. I am torn on this issue.
Emotion #1: I am excited to be done. This class has proven to be one of the toughest, most negative group of young people I have ever come across. Nothing seems to be worthy of their time or effort. Even the kids who, outside of the class, seem to be above average, wonderful youth, when entering the classroom seem to have all that was at one time above average and wonderful quickly sapped out of their bodies. Then they seem to become this group of ambivalent and disagreeable little oafs. Nothing is worthy of their time. No one is good enough for them. They spend the whole class period, in which I'm trying to lead them through the lesson, complaining and changing the subject and ignoring me, and then tell people that I never try to teach them anything and that this whole class has been a waste of their time. So I am greatly excited to be done with this part of my experience as intern pastor.
Emtion #2: Complete and total frustration. This class has proven to be the toughest, most negative group of young people I have ever come across! I have NEVER EVER in my life had such a hard time connecting with youth, and I have never, ever, ever come close to EVER thinking that any youth was even close to unredeemable. But there are members of this class (Cheeseball girl not the only one, but by far the foremost) who make me question my previous thinking. And that frustrates me to death. And makes me feel defeated. And like a failure. And I don't like that. At all. So I feel as if I could have and should have done better. I feel as if I somehow failed this class, and that I gave up. And I don't like that, either.

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