Today was Gifts of Women Sunday, when the PW – the women – of the congregation plan and lead worship. I had the opportunity to preach (and write the liturgy) for today’s service, which meant moving over from my side chair to the big chair that the HOS usually occupies. It was really fun to see all the women who had offered to sing, lead prayers and serve as ushers and greeters. As I described it to a friend this week, it’s sort of like Youth Sunday but with, erm, older youth. And an all-woman choir, which rocked the house!
It was nice to have spent time in worship with the congregation over the past few months, since that made it much more easier to take on the pulpit. It still took a few minutes to get settled- I can imagine Dr H and Dr. S calling me out on fidgeting. Maybe I just haven’t found the right preaching shoes. I re-purposed a sermon I had used previously for Ash Wednesday, shifting the secondary message to point to the women who have given of themselves in service to God’s mission.
I got a lot of positive feedback (as you do in the receiving line), but I especially appreciated the response to the benediction. Three generations of women joined me to bless and and send the congregation using the piece I wrote for 4 voices this summer. It was powerful when we used it in chapel, but there was something about having that combination of women joined in challenging the congregation to go, serve, love… it was beautiful.
Next week, I’ll be back to the side chair. And I’m totally ok with that.