Today was a bittersweet day at church: Our last day at the place we've worshiped and served for the last 3 1/2 years. The ex-seminarian will take the position of pastoral intern at another church nearby, and of course we are all going with him.
It was hard to stand up in front of the congregation to receive thanks and goodbyes from everyone. We like our church and the people in it. Some have become good friends. Of course, we will still see them. It's the people who are not-quite-good friends that will disappear. You know how those good intentions to stay in touch work out.
In some ways, though, I breathed a sigh of relief as we walked out the door. Like all churches, ours had problems, some pretty serious. Our next church has problems, too, I'm sure, but we won't be in the midst of them right away. We can be ignorant for a little while!
It will also be nice to take a break from serving. Is that OK to say? We did a pretty good bit of work, the ex-seminarian most of all. We were happy to do it, and mostly it wasn't a burden. I will admit that nursery duty is something I do reluctantly and more from a feeling of obligation than one of joyful service. It'll be nice, for a little while, to be like 80% of the people, just sitting the in the pews, partaking of others' service. It probably won't last long, though. Churches need people who are willing to work, even at things they don't particularly like. I haven't developed the skill of deflecting work that needs to be done. Too bad so many other people have!