(Originally posted April, 2007).
So, my first Sunday "in charge," as it were, at HappyChurch went off pretty much without a hitch. Folks were responsive and receptive, and seemed to appreciate my sermon. I was realizing this morning that when I stepped into the pulpit to preach, I was not nervous at all. No knees shaking or forgetting to breathe. I must have worked out my nerves in the first part of the service. Thank goodness they like humor because that's how I covered up my nerves in the opening welcome and announcements.
The part I had the most trouble with was the prayers of the people -- having to spontaneously respond with an ad-lib prayer after inviting people to share their joys/concerns felt excruciating, for some reason. My throat went dry, and I struggled to speak coherent thoughts. My cielo, sitting practically on the front row, told me afterwards she was praying for ME during all that -- "come on, honey, you can do it!" Yikes. I will have to do something thinking about how I can do that better...any suggestions?
Otherwise, it was a good Sunday.
This morning I learned that the father of one my parishioners died last night. So a call to her in contiguous state, where the family has been gathered waiting for the inevitable, was my first task after Hebrew this morning.
And so it begins.