Sunday, August 26, 2007

Six down, three to go...

Weddings, that is. This has been a busy summer for weddings and yesterday's ceremony was probably the most challenging I've experienced in awhile. The couple and I had several snafus to avert and/or cope with: the distance from each other geographically was one factor---choreographing our meetings to coincide with where we could all manage to be at once; a complicated ceremony made more complicated by the need to change things at the last minute---locale, elements of the ceremony, inside or outside; weather---will we manage to get through the outdoor ceremony before the rain hits?; misplaced objects---a wallet, a wedding script; guests---notifying people of the change of locale due to weather, ferries late or overstuffed; the bride was even late to the wedding, causing some guests to wonder (facetiously, I think) whether she had bailed.

A few words to the wise wedding couple: make your wedding ceremony as simple as possible, for your own sake and that of the officiant; if the ceremony is to be outdoors, have a rain plan from the very first moment to avoid last-minute re-location; be on time for meetings, rehearsal and ceremony---it's rude to be late and disrespectful of your officiant and your guests; cover extra expenses for your officiant, like mileage, ferry tickets, and extra postage, without having to be nudged.

It's another soggy Sunday morning, though it looks like the sun is attempting to break through. No word yet on whether this will be another House Church day but I'm looking forward to attending services this morning, wherever it may be, and just enjoying others' loving contribution to our worship life together.

Tomorrow morning I'll head to Portland to co-officiate in a memorial service for a dear former congregant, Nestor Perala, may his name be remembered by us all.

Nestor was one of those sweet, quirky old gentlemen whose life was full of interesting stories and challenges. I am honored to participate in celebrating his memorable life.


Mile High Pixie said...

Ah. Wedding panic. Last minute problems. Yet more reasons that Guy and I were married in an Elvis chapel in Las Vegas. My sister and mom watched the service over the chapel's internet webcam, and they flew out a few months later for a spa weekend with me. More fun, less stress.

LinguistFriend said...

On the other hand, I am led by your post to think more of the complexities of the relationship of the minister to the congregational leadership and congregation. This morning I went to a mid-sized congregation in the neighboring large city, where the very able minister who had been there had moved on after six years with no improvement in his salary and some major problems in the church which the congregation appeared to become ready to deal with only after his leaving was announced.
The first service of the highly qualified and experienced interim minister (of whom I had some previous acquaintance) showed a really good ability to connect with the congregation in a very promising and strategic but preliminary way, in general very good personal skills. The incoming president of the board (whom I know with great respect from a time when we were both in a different congregation)has excellent analytic skillls and a strong financial background, and is really a good man, but lacks anything like the personal skills of the interim minister. My first guess is that the best thing would be for them to work in a way such that their strengths will function in a complementary way. Given the situation, the more rapidly their collaboration and the role of the interim are established, the better. I will continue to observe with great interest; it is hard to predict the reaction of the congregation to these fine people, but I hope for the best.