Sunday, January 29, 2012

First weeks in Hot Springs, SD

There have been several things happening at United Churches of Hot Springs, SD. Some have been fun. Some have been challenging. But, thanks be to God, I have not had a boring day yet.

There are several things that I love about United Churches:

  • I love that we have both a contemporary service, and what might be described as an informally liturgical service. I feel like each week my worship gets to run the gamut of Christian tradition, and I get nourished in each service in different ways.
  • I am feeling like my preaching is well-received. I am staying strictly Biblical, and people seem to enjoy the kind of teaching I have to offer. In both services I feel like I am finding a groove and connecting with folks. 
  • We have enjoyed some of the little things people did to make us welcome. They brought by meals as we arrived. They cleaned and painted the house. This made Jen happy. And "when momma is happy, everyone is happy"
  • Many of the new people I meet are intriguing to me. This is true of my ministry is the community as well as my ministry within the church
Some of the challenges are:
  • Negotiating expectations. The board is not meeting until March. They are eager to let me be me. This is nice and thoughtful. It has also created challenges. It is clear they have expectation. Yet, it is also difficult to figure out what those are.
  • My timing. This is a strange time to move to town. People are snowbirding, many of them just heading out in January for weeks or months. Many of our church leaders are gone on a mission trip this week. Another set will be leaving for the second half of February. Our administrative assistant's husband had a brain aneurism. So I have felt a little lost, and like I am on an island the last 10 days or so. 
  • Adapting to the United Churches structure. In some ways, it feels overly structured. In other ways it feels loosey-goosey. All in all, I have yet to put my hands around how the church runs and feel at home with it. But I am sure that will come, and my understanding will grow.

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