Friday, February 24, 2006

I have left undone those things which I ought to have done.

It’s been one of those weeks….
During the course of it, I’ve spent an enjoyable couple of hours visiting a "fresh expression" in Cardiff (there should be a post coming, once I’ve space to process; have been out every evening bar one (a choir practice for our Gift Day tomorrow, which I opted out of because I have yet another cold….); I have lost my purse and my camera once, a friend’s new address twice, and my keys so often it’s not funny. I’ve attempted to visit the same family (whose children are being baptised on Sunday) no less than 3 times (we’re currently booked for 9.00 am Saturday morning, as this is the only remaining free slot in the diary). I’ve arranged more baptisms than in the entire previous course of my ministry, and am trying to sort out at long-distance the funeral of my mother’s favourite cousin, who died in London on Tuesday, but whose only daughter didn’t make it from New Zealand till the small hours of the following morning. Unsurprisingly, neither of us is awash with local contacts, and the vicar of the parish where Kay lived is on holiday till tomorrow, which makes it hard to discover whether or not we might be able to borrow the church before a cremation. Meanwhile, we're sort of tiptoeing round each other, both aware that our mothers loved each other dearly but that we don't honestly know each other at all these days, and it feels kind of uncomfortable walking that line between professionalism and familiarity. Rather wobbly,- though I think that our phonecalls so far have encouraged us to like each other more than when we were children. Oh, it's so hard when your parents long for you to be friends,
Prayers for Cousin Kay and daughter N would be lovely…life has been hard on both of them, and it seems clear that they share the same good humoured courage.

I’ve also done a parents’ evening for LoudBoy, who seems to be old enough to be choosing his GCSEs (incredible…I could have sworn he was about 11).

I've done assorted pastoral visits, taken 2 Assemblies, and faffed over Lent leaflets and responsorial psalms with the parish secretary (who pretends to be a fluffy blonde, but is in reality every bit as competent as she is kind and entertaining). So, I suppose I’ve done some useful stuff but failed to complete far more.
And I totally and completely forgot that yesterday the second yr 4 class from the junior school was due to visit church. Forgot! School!!! How could I? I love those visits….They are one of the highlights of the job…and I’d been reminded by the first class visit on Monday and by reading Howard’s post on the same theme. But for some reason lost in the confusion that was once the mind of Kathryn, I totally forgot until about 4.00 this morning, when I awoke in a cold sweat and rushed downstairs to confirm the worst in my diary. That same diary I had been consulting frequently during the course of yesterday…without seeing the entry at all, even though I knew earlier in the week that it existed.
Phoned first thing to see if I could go in and answer any questions if they are following up their rather dull and restricted visit in class today…but no response yet. Should I turn up anyway, in sackcloth I wonder? I spend a lot of time in that school, and have been doing my very very best to build up good relationships…and now a whole class of children will think of the church as a rather dark, unwelcoming place with alarms and ropes across the exciting areas.
I repeat.

Later on: coals of fire were heaped on my head when I cowered my way into school, bearing a peace offering, and one little boy said to me “It didn’t matter. We had a nice time anyway”
Oh, the shame!
Come home, wonderful vicar! Your curate needs you!


Friday Mom said...

This just proves the point I made in the e-mail I sent you earlier! You're not hopeless. You're a pastor.

Dr Moose said...

Earler this week I was engaging in my perennial muse about whether I work hard enough. I can't answer that one, any more than ever before, but your hectic life reminds me that I certainly was busier as a curate than I am now.

When there are plural staff you can afford to run more things, especially with a willing congregation because most of the times you can share the load. Here in MLPK it's still a one man band (with limited percussionary accompaniment on the tea pot!)

Hang in there!