and my first back at work after the Christmas festivities...Suddenly, time at St M's feels very short and I'm torn between sadness at leaving so many dear and special people and excitement at what lies ahead. Actually, writing today let's substitute "terror" as I've a "drinks and meet the PCCs" evening tonight - and am more than marginally anxious about it...but I do know that on interview day, back in November, I was as honestly and completely myself as I've ever been, so whatever happens in the months and years ahead I know that the parish reps met me as I am, and made their decision based on that experience. If I'd not been to the 3D training day in October, I might have gone in determined to show them the sort of candidate I imagined they were looking for, - and goodness knows how that might have panned out!
However, that's all ahead. Right now, I'm engaged in relating to the people of St M's, in sharing their lives before God to whatever extent feels good to them...and there was plenty to be shared on Sunday once the Eucharist was over, and my ungainly sermon preached.
We also had the first OpenHouse of 2008 - and to my joy it was really well attended. That first service after Christmas is potentially problematic. Occasional worshippers, the backbone of OpenHouse (interesting thought, that "occasionals" should be the backbone of anything) have mostly appeared at church for the Crib Service so are unlikely to return so soon...and with schools not yet back, there's no mechanism for jogging of memories, beyond the banner on the fence. But, against all expectations, they came...a goodly crowd to "Follow that Star" around the church, and to practice chalking the doors (something I'd never met at all till this year...though it is apparently a European custom) and, of course, to eat the wonderful MU tea.
That was so good for morale. Of all the things that have happened since I've been here, the birth of OpenHouse is the thing I'm most proud of and this month's turnout suggests that it is firmly established now and , DV, should flourish come what may.