Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Day in the Life....

I know some of the people who read this blog are interested in the occasional "Day in the Life" kinds of posts from parish priests, so keep reading if that appeals to you, but skip it if don't care, I won't mind! This what my day was like....

Henry (3.5yo) came upstairs and Betsy pulled him into the bed between us. We all went back to sleep for a little longer. Betsy got up and went downstairs to work around 6.30. Henry and I kept sleeping.

I woke up and took a shower. By the time I finished he was awake and asking to go downstairs. I took him off the bed (he doesn't like to slide off on his own) and he trotted down to Betsy's office in the basement.

Henry was already mesmerized by Lego: Star Wars. Betsy was making him breakfast. I made myself a quick shake of milk, frozen mango, frozen strawberries, and honey. Not bad, but next time I'll put in a tad less honey.

Biked to church (about 10 minutes away) and set up for the 8.30 Contemplative Eucharist. Put the chairs and some cushions in a circle.

The Contemplative Eucharist begins. Seven people--which is a little higher than normal thanks to a guest. I felt that my Eucharistic Prayers, which I ad lib for this liturgy, were particularly poetic this time. I chalk it up to a good night's sleep the day before.

Discussed the "Messiah Media" project with a co-conspirator. He and hash through several new scenarios for what shape the project might take. New plans are made. Ambitious, very cool plans that aren't ready to see the light of day just yet...

A guest is ready to talk to me--I make coffee for us and then spend five minutes with the Parish Administrative Assistant before sitting down with him. We talk about the "Messiah Commons" project and some other things I'm working on at some length. He's a semi-retired minister with a lot of experience in church planting, missions, etc. I look to him as something of a mentor and am incredibly thankful to be able to bend his ear for an hour about some of the plans I have for Messiah. He gives some suggestions and ideas. At the end of our time he says a lovely prayer over me. We both walk away feeling inspired to redouble our efforts.

The Administrative Assistant and I tackle and work through some problems around things like office supplies, throwing away files we no longer need to make space, and ordering light bulbs (all of which are far more complicated than you can imagine if you have never worked for either the government, church, or an educational institution). We are both pleased to be able to clean out space in the storage room.

My next meeting starts--this time with a possible co-conspirator in the whole New Media Evangelism/Messiah Media projects. we get to know where we are each coming from. He suggests ways in which he can be involved. We problem solve some issues the Diocese would like addressed (such as bettering communications between parishes and helping parishes adopt new communications methods). I appreciate that he has taken a two-hour lunch break from work to drive to meet with me.

I bike down to a pub on Church Street near Bloor to meet with my two-facilitators for the Fresh Start programme. Fresh Start is a two-year training project for clergy in transition into a new parish. They attend a monthly session which has a didactic component (a presentation, basically, about the subject like dealing with conflict in a congregation, negotiating role clarity, understanding parish finances, etc.) and a case-study component (where the group listens to a real-live issue happening to someone in the group and then discuss it. This is a year-end debrief. The three of us agree that Fresh Start is running really well right now and we love our group. We eventually move on to talk about Diocesan Politics, Toronto Politics, vacation plans, and so forth. A good working lunch.

I rush back (on the bike) to Messiah and do a one-hour counseling session with a parishioner. It goes well (obviously I can't say much more than that).

I rush home, get my sail bag assembled, kiss the wife, and then dash out of the door to my bike. I rode down to the waterfront and hopped onto a Tender (Ferry) to the QCYC Sailing Club for the weekly race. This evening it was just two of us. When I race with Stephen we have pretty much the same level of boating competence, so we "co-skipper." But Charles, who was the only member of the team available, is still learning so I ended up being the honest-to-God-and-only Skipper for my first race. It was really great. We even managed to beat a few boats (only one in our division... but I'll take it!). Even better was the fact that by the end of the race I had dialed in and was catching up to the rest of the fleet. During one particular leg I just focused very carefully on proper sail trim and helmsmanship and found that we were beating the two closest boats, which proves that this boat can be a winner if we sail her well. I can't wait to try again!

After "putting the boat to bed" I hopped on the next Tender back to the city-side and biked back up the hill to home. It's a 30 minute bike ride up a gentle incline. It's nice to notice that my "summer legs" are getting back into shape. Bike riding in the summer in Toronto is really one of the best ways to get around the city.

For supper I had some leftover duck and some grilled veggies that Betsy had made for Henry. Betsy and I had a brief chat, watched the end of an episode of Veep, and then headed off to bed. I came downstairs to my corner and wrote this!

A good, full day. I feel like I made yet more incremental progress in the grande project of turning around The Church of The Messiah. Both "Messiah Commons" and "Messiah Media" are really important to the future of the parish (particularly the former), and it's good to be able to sit with people more experienced than I talk through my plans and hear their feedback. The other meetings were important and good in their own ways, as well. But ending the day on the lake is always magical and deeply satisfying! Now it's off to bed!

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