A really good day at church. Lots of stuff going on. For starters, it was Matthew's last Sunday. He has made quite an impression in his two years as Music Director, and the congregation is certainly sad to see him go. He took the opportunity of his last Sunday to make hymn picks that were very indicative of his time with us. I was proud of him, and glad that he has been able to do so much to shape the musical tastes and vocabulary of the parish.
The kids prepared a little surprise for him--a hymn written to celebrate Matthew to the tune of "Lord of the Dance." Very cute. I presented him with a nice framed photograph of Matthew and some of the kids making music with signatures along the matte border. Matthew gave us a framed copy of two pieces of music. One is an anthem he wrote based on the church's history. Another is an Alleluia his mother wrote after being inspired by one of our parishioners. Very nice. I prayed for him using a collect for "Transitions in Ministry" in the Book of Occasional Services.
We also commissioned a new Warden, Caroline. I used a short ceremony that including handing her the keys to the church as a symbol of her ministry. I'm really glad to finally have a third warden, and pleased that my patience in this matter paid off. Sometimes you just have to give the Spirit time!
Preaching was interesting. I decided to go with the Song of Songs and preach about sex. It was a tight, crisp sermon that people seemed to really enjoy. It made me nervous to preach it, however, as I could easily imagine communities that would freak out if the pastor talked this way. I trusted my COTM crew to be cool with it. One of them told me afterwards about how one my predecessors preached about sex at least twice using some very personal anecdotes, so my sermon was entirely non-controversial!
We had a visitor who grew up Pentecostal who also enjoyed the sermon and told me that it was really refreshing to hear something preached that would be impossible to do in her previous community. Sweet. I love that kind of feedback. Anyway, I'm looking forward to posting that sermon soon.
We had cake (it was a "Polychronia Sunday") and coffee and much joy. Many of the kids were back from camps. Came home and fell asleep watching football.