Hello and happy Sunday! And welcome back to the weekly check-in, I know it’s been a while. I’ve found myself somewhat blocked over recent months. But as I started my new church this week I thought I’d take the chance to do a bit of writing!
So, a new job, a new start! It’s been a full on, somewhat overwhelming and absolutely delightful week.
Last Sunday I had my licensing service where I officially began my new post. Papers were signed, prayers were said, I was handed my keys and took my place in my new stall. Afterwards we had a great big party with a fantastic spread of food! The tables were groaning with platters of sandwiches, quiches, sausage rolls, scones, cakes and fruit cake just to name a few.
It was great to see people from Croxteth, Norris Green, Formby, Altcar and elsewhere in the Diocese as well as our family and, of course, our new church family. I met lots of new people who told me their names (I can’t remember half of them!) and I collapsed at home that evening feeling tired but very excited. From the food to the flowers on my desk in the office, I have been made to feel very welcome.
The rest of the week involved spending time in the Hub at church, chatting and getting to know people, a hospital visit, the clergy retreat day in Liverpool, my first PCC, admin (of course!) and a family wedding on Friday afternoon. I re-read Hitting the Ground Kneeling last week which is about taking the time to get to know a new place, watching what is going on and spending time in prayer before making too many changes. I’ve read it a couple of times before and it is one of my favourite books on Christian leadership.
With all this in mind, I’ve prayed and tried to give myself time to process and rest. On Monday night when Nathan got back from his PCC, we sat down to a cup of tea, a beer and a piece of leftover fruitcake each (see the picture at the top!). It was good to take some time to reflect.
At college I was told that the first fortnight could be like ‘drinking from a fire hydrant’. I can relate to this! I can hardly believe that my licensing was just a week ago. So much has happened and I’ve absorbed a lot of information since then so it feels like much longer.
I also had a good first Sunday service today. I was down to take the service and preach and I really enjoyed it. Nathan and Sophia were there too which was great. I feel God’s presence with me as I lead worship at ASSF. I felt it on my first day when I led the prayers and I definitely felt it this morning.
I’ll leave you with a picture which is a screen shot of the live feed of the service which streams onto Facebook. I call it my ‘happy to be preaching in my new church’ face!