Best job in the world!
When I started this blog a couple of months ago I thought I’d try and post something every 7-10 days. Two weeks have passed since my last post. Have I been lazy? Out of internet reach? Have I given up so quickly on what seemed like a great idea?
None of the above.
I have just been busy. Parish ministry (which is what this post of Interim Moderator feels like – and that’s not a bad thing) is unpredictable. Specific days off are hard to guarantee. The phone rings or the email pings and we don’t know whether that means good news or bad, a job requiring urgent attention or one which can be put at the bottom of the in-tray, a problem easily solved or one which seems impossible.
What also can’t be predicted are those moments which make you smile, which make you say, ‘Thanks, Lord!’ Like visiting the Cubs at Meadowside St Paul’s and being greeted like an old friend by two boys I’d only met briefly before on a Sunday. Or someone saying they feel better because you’ve listened to them. Or a first coffee with a member of the clergy from another denomination and finding lots in common.
There are surprises: ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ being played on the church bells as part of a concert last Saturday in St Andrew’s by Dr Ian Cassells. Contact from STV wanting to feature the display of poppies put together mainly by the young people of St Andrew’s, to honour those from the congregation who lost their lives in the 1st or 2nd World War; that was after our local daily newspaper, The Courier, put them on the front page on Monday:
There are also those things that shouldn’t be taken for granted just because they’re not surprising: I’m thinking especially now of those members of both congregations who turn up every Sunday, who fulfil the duties assigned to them by various rotas, who lend a hand spontaneously where it’s needed, who take the fellowship of the Church out to people’s homes with a gift of flowers.
Parish ministry isn’t for those who like a predictable life, but I’m pretty sure that those who are called to it would say the same thing as the farmers I know, and that is, in spite of its unpredictability, they wouldn’t do anything else, because they’ve got the best job in the world.