Link

Run-through attached here

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4ut5nq3q2fkjrwz/Run%20through%2001%2006%2014.m4a
I warn you, it is very warty.

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Nerves

I am certain that the prayers I have written for tomorrow are as good as I can make them.

I am confident that I will present them, and the readings, as well as I can.

But…

I feel ill. 

What if my best is not good enough?

What if I should have carried on ignoring my call to preach?

What if I not only fail to bring people closer to God but manage to turn them away (not at all arrogant there Helles!).

What if I over-express?

What if I under-express?

Was my tutor’s description of my prayer of adoration, confession and thanksgiving as ‘poetic’ a good thing or a bad thing?

I know I will be there. I know I will do my best. I can only pray that will be good enough for God’s purpose.

I have, hopefully, attached a media file of a run through I did earlier (it is on a separate post). Any advice will be gratefully received.

God bless you and keep you x

Planning a Service

Following last week’s meeting with my preacher-mentor M, I knew the theme of our first service as well as the readings, the hymns and what I have to prepare and what I have to deliver.

Thanks to one of my regular bouts of sleeplessness, I made a start on my preparations this morning.

I started in prayer, asking God to guide my words in his work. After all, how can I do his work if I haven’t asked what he wants me to do?

The next task was to reread the readings and have a look for useful phrases for the prayers I will be writing. Since the service is on Ascension Sunday, I also read a couple of short discussions on the significance of the day to help me get into the correct frame of mind.

For those not versed in scripture, Ascension celebrates the resurrected Jesus leaving his disciples to return to heaven and prepare for us to join him there.

When I am writing anything, I usually start off with phrases I want to use. I refine these and play with the order before linking them together. Then I read what I have written to check for repetitions,  tongue-twisters and rhythm.

I start a new line whenever I want to pause in my reading.

And I write down everything – and I mean everything. Instructions for placement. Amens. The Lord’s Prayer – in full. Every word that needs to come out of my mouth will be written down. Because I really really do not want to be standing at the lectern at my first training service looking like a fish out of water.

I had almost finished when potential disaster struck – the computer decided to shut itself down to do updates. Which takes ages. This was not a normal shutdown. It took nearly twenty minites to get back on and check that everything had saved.  And, thank God, it had.

All that is left to do is email it to M for feedback. Oh, and to deliver it on Sunday.

Have a wonderful day. God bless you and keep you x

To preach or not to preach

Last night marked my first meeting with my preacher-mentor, M. Our first service together is on June 1st and I was concerned that I would be playing a passive role bobbing up and down to do the occasional reading. I need not have worried! Although M is opening the service,  delivering the address and closing the service, I am to prepare and deliver the prayer of adoration, confession and thanksgiving, lead the Lord’s prayer, accept the offering and dismiss junior church.
Scarily, for Trinity Sunday, I am to write and deliver a short address on the Holy Spirit. My first (part of a) sermon!

God bless you and keep you x

Under Steam

Things are getting moving here.

I received units 2 and 3 of Faith & Worship and I have had an initial read-through of unit 2. Whereas unit 1 focused on preparing for study, some of unit 2 reminds me of the training I completed to become a worship leader.

The sections are:
The Nature of Worship – appears similar to worship leader training
The Liturgical Cycle – not unfamiliar for anyone who has attended church for some time.
The Sermon – the role of the sermon and its preparation
Preparing a Service – again, much of this is familar because of my experience as a Worship Leader
On The Day – how to present yourself. I feel quite confident about this having spoken regularly in public for about 20 years.
I am looking forward to working through this unit and the new or more in depth information ot contains.

I have yet to read unit 3 but it is called ‘Jesus through the eyes of Mark’ and, as well as four sevtions on the Gospel, it contains an in-depth section on preparing a service – presumably the trial-service.

Next week, I will have my first meeting with my mentor during which we will discuss how we will plan and deliver services together this Summer.  The following week, I have a meeting with my acting-tutor (the superintendant minister) to talk through however much study I have completed by then. I imagine he will expect to see that I have engaged wih the training material and not rushed through to get it out of the way.  This is an opportunity for personal growth because I do tend to work at a fair pace so holding back and reflecting will be very good for me – and for my future preaching.

Good Evening and God Bless x

Dates

Having gone through the preaching plan for the coming quarter, I have five services with my mentor.  My mentor, initially, will plan and deliver the bulk of each service with me phasing in until I plan and deliver a final service myself as an assessment.

Even though it is for only five out of thirteen services, it is still a wrench to leave my home church.  I will miss all of this quarter’s local arrangements and one Holy Communion.

Since I have no idea who reads my blogs, I don’t know what you know so forgive me for explaining.

When our church has a local arrangement, the worship leaders come together to plan and deliver a service.  Worship leaders may not preach so we include extra hymns and readings, or meditations, in place of a sermon.

While I know my fellow worship leaders completely understand that Ihave to miss the local arrangements for training, I still feel like I am leaving them in the lurch.

It is always sad to miss Holy Communion.  It is the way we remind ourselves of God’s commitment to, and love for, each of us and an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment and love for Him.  In our church, we share Holy Communion once each month so missing a Communion service means 7 weeks without communion.  When I next meet the Superintendant Minister,  I must ask what happens about Holy Communion once (if) I go onto the plan in my own right.

Good night and God bless x

It’s Official!

I was placed ‘On Note’ at last nights Local Worship and Preaching Group meeting.

Despite having met many of the area’s local preachers – who are the largest contingent at the meeting – I was still really nervous to attend. I suppose I was concerned that my request would be voted down.  In the event, everyone I could see voted yes and I received so many congratulations and offers of prayers and other support that I was quite overwhelmed.

I found out who my preacher-mentor is and we made arrangements for our first meeting.  During my time On Note, we will plan and deliver services together. I will take on more of the planning and delivery each time until, in (probably) September, I have my first assessed service.  If that goes well, and I have met other training requirements, I will be placed ‘On Trial’ at the next meeting.

The other person who will be closely involved in my training is a tutor.  The tutor supports me through the written assessments and the studying required for them. A member of the meeting offered to be my tutor so, fingers crossed,  that crucial position will soon be filled also.

Having been so anxious about books, I have had an offer of more books from a retiring minister! I am unsure what the books are but I am certain they will prove useful.  This, and my experiences last night and last week, have reinforced how very blessed I have been in joining the Methodist Church.

This weekend, I will be attending an ecumenical service and I have no responsibilities which I plan on making the most of while I can.

Good night and God bless x