When he arrived at St M's 5 years ago, WondefulVicar was told very firmly that the 8.00 congregation did not expect and would not welcome any sort of word, to interrupt their silent devotions...He was pushing their boundaries by inviting them to acknowledge their neighbour so far as to exchange the Peace. To actually halt them in their tracks and compell them to spend a couple of minutes exploring and reflecting on Scripture would be Just. Too. Much.
He accepted this without demur, and this remained the case when the Curate arrived a year later...At Festivals sometimes one or other of us got overexcited by the wonder of the day and launched into some sort of meditation upon it but by and large we respected their wishes. Only we both felt uncomfortable. The 8.00 congregation is considerably more than a handful, and as I shook hands with some 30 plus week after week it was hard to feel that I wasn't short changing them.
So we agreed that,from Advent Sunday, a "thought for the day" would become part of the pattern...We waited for the onslaught and today it came.
As I stood by the door, person after person spoke
"Thank you so much for including an address" "It's really good to have something to carry away with me into the week" "I'm so glad that we get a proper talk now".
Which all goes to show - you never know until you try, and it is probably never a good idea to rely on 3rd party evidence as a guide to the wishes of others!
Of course, some weeks this does mean that I'm preparing an address of some sort on two different lections (this Sunday is one such) but on the whole, I think it's triumphantly worth it....
This morning's word's are here...This evening's? Well, let's say they're still under construction!