Dixie Darr

Amateur Hour

In spirituality on June 19, 2017 at 6:17 am

My church was stretched a little thin yesterday morning as we tried to cover activities on three fronts. We have a growing congregation with only one minister.

Pastor Brad is young, gifted, and energetic, but even he can’t be in three places at once.

He went to the church’s annual conference not only because his attendance is required, but also to see a close friend be ordained.

At the Pride parade, we had a large contingent, including our music director and children’s director. We always want to support our beloved LGBTQ members, and this year, we also needed to show the world how much we adore our Bishop Karen Oliveto, whose election caused much hand-wringing in conservative United Methodist churches.

That left a group of amateurs, including me, in charge of our worship service. We had some glitches.

Nobody knew how to turn on the lights in the vestibule.

One altar candle wouldn’t light, probably because nobody knew to check that it had oil.

One mic didn’t work, then it did work.

Carolyn, who led children’s time, didn’t know if we were having Sunday school.

Nobody was assigned to count the offering after the service.

We all pulled together and figured things out. We always do.

I used a prayer by Rev. Jude Geiger that contained these words “In this month, where our nation celebrates the lives and the struggles of Transgender, Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people, help us to find a path forward, where each of us may live our lives, honest to who we are, with grace and empathy for one another.” Yes.

We had some good, old-fashioned music. Linda, accompanied by Nhi on piano, sang “Whispering Hope.” During our hymn sing, William led us through “I’ll Fly Away” (my favorite), “Amazing Grace,” and “Morning has Broken,” among others.

Afterward, William and I high-fived because we made it through and had some fun.

The word amateur typically means inept, and we were probably not as ept (it’s a word!) as we would have liked. But it comes from the Latin “to love” and also means a person who does something purely for love.

That fits, too.

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