What a whirlwind these past few weeks have been! It’s been three full weeks since I started in my new position here at Truro, and it’s been wonderful and insane at the same time. I had hoped I could “hit the ground jogging” but it’s been more like running uphill at top speed on horseback in the snow while also trying to chew gum.
Here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to:
– Organizing, arranging, and painting my office, while trying to figure out to do with these crazy psychedelic couch pillows that I just. can’t. seem. to. stop. staring. at.
– Leading worship on Sunday mornings (8:00am and 10:30am services during the summer), Sunday evenings (5:00pm service), Tuesday morning staff meetings, Wednesday prayer/worship services, and Genesis Arts Camp last week. Leading worship for little kids is super fun and I was out of practice, but by Friday I think I had gotten back into the groove. Next year I’ll try to be more prepared and maybe channel my inner goofball a bit more.
– Having several good breakfast/lunch/coffee meetings with older, wiser men who have served in the choir here for decades, asking them for their impressions, advice, counsel, opinions, and insight. These have helped me discern certain priorities that need attention. One priority: getting new couch pillows.
– Getting a handle on different things I’m responsible for that I didn’t know I’d be responsible for. It’s all good stuff, but I’m still being surprised even after three full weeks! And thankfully, even though I “oversee” the dance ministry (as part of our Arts ministry for children and youth), I don’t actually have to be the instructor. Otherwise we’d be pulling out some old Carman “Who’s In the House” moves and I don’t think those would go over very well on a Sunday morning.
– Planning Christmas when it’s still August. When your choir’s retreat is in early September, you don’t have the luxury of waiting until December to plan Christmas music. I’ve always wanted to plan farther ahead, and now I have no choice! It’s good for me. Now someone pass the Egg Nog.
– Receiving the most incredibly warm welcome that I could have imagined. The people of Truro are some of the sweetest, kindest, most generous, and most encouraging people I’ve ever met. The amount of affirmation I’ve received over the last three weeks has been so meaningful. My wife and daughters have been embraced and welcomed with equal enthusiasm and we’re deeply grateful. Yesterday I received two particularly kind compliments about my piano playing; The first: “you play like Elton John”. The second: “your piano playing is dissonant and modern. In a good way”. Um, thanks?
– Experiencing the benefit of organized predecessors. The people who have served as Director of Worship and Arts before me have done a great job at keeping things organized and keeping records of how things have been done in the past. It’s so helpful for me as I get my bearings. My immediate predecessor, Kirsten Boyd, is actually still on the worship staff here, in a new part-time role as she branches out in different ways, and she has been so incredibly helpful in every way! She even painted her office door with chalkboard paint and lets my girls leave their graffiti multiples times a week. So fun.
– Enjoying wonderful worship on Sundays. This congregation loves to sing. A lot. Yesterday we sang 16 congregational songs per morning service. This is the normal load. Seriously. This includes everything from the call to worship, through the sung communion liturgy, to the closing hymn. It’s insane. But they belt out every song like it’s Easter morning. Unbelievable. Exhausting. Exhilarating. Sunday naps have never felt so good.
I’d like to get back to a normal blogging routine here this week (or next). I’m sorry things have been so quiet! I’ve been drinking from a firehose but now I think I’m getting into a more manageable rhythm. I’m grateful for this new challenge, this wonderful church, and for your prayers!