I’m a little late with this post. It’s now almost two weeks down! But, I took my first service at St. Paul on 3 October, so it is really just over a week, even though tomorrow I will have been in the US for two weeks. Time is flying!
So far, everything has been going well. My first service was well received. It was World Communion Sunday and I chose a Celtic liturgy to give a different view from the usual United Methodist liturgy. I admit I ws surprised that so many connected with it. From my standpoint, I had forgotten how liturgical the United Methodist Church is. I had been warned about it, but it still felt different from the more ‘free-flowing’ service in my usual context. None of it bad, of course. Simply different.
The first week I spent doing a few hospital visits and also joining the Methodist Men’s group and the Joy Club. At the former, I was the guest speaker and talked about the differences between the American and British churches. One thing I am finding is that I forget the differences as I have been in Britain for 6 years now. I don’t remember how the UMC worked, but a lot of it is coming back. Perhaps I will devote another post to that.
The second Sunday at the 11:00 service is where I attempted to change things most. Since Dane was leading a Harvest All-Age service back at Wilpshire, I thought we could try an all-age service here. It was worth it if for nothing else to see people react to not having an order of service on their notice sheet! It’s amazing how uncertain we feel when in a different context, as I did the previous week when it was all new to me! I think there was also some concern over how children would react in the service when not used to being in there the whole time. It worked very well though, and there was no need for worry. We had a good number of kids who all participated, and when it came time to ask questions of them, they all gave great answers.
So that’s some initial thoughts on the whole of the first week. I may write more details later. But, as I said, time is flying and I wanted to get something down to help me process all this.