It has been a busy couple of weeks. My training incumbent has been away on holiday. Two funerals, six church services, pastoral visits, a chapter meeting, standing committee, music group, ladies fellowship. And school starting up again for my 14-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. My son started high school, which begins at year 7 here. A big change for him, but so far, so good.
With the end of summer, church activities start up again - like the parents/carers & tots groups. I'm looking forward to being involved in those two groups again. I have to finish off my application for the Sea Cadet chaplaincy asap, and start to increase our level of involvement with a local care home and the local primary school. I've also got a paper to write for my master's programme, about the book we curates had to read (Remembering our Future). I need more hours in each day and more days in each week!
I've been reflecting a lot on preaching. I'm not happy with my preaching. I would like to get better at preaching without a written script. It doesn't feel right to read my sermon, no matter how well I do it, and no matter how often I make eye contact (a lot, I think). There isn't enough engagement with the congregation. I need to work on this.
In conversation with a parishioner, I've come to realise that most of our sermons are too long, and people switch off. What good is that? I think I need to make my sermons a lot shorter, and try to learn how to preach it without relying on my manuscript.