Thursday, March 29, 2007

No more musical pulpits!

After 5 Wednesday nights in Lent in different churches, I am rather glad that our  "musical pulpits" is at an end for this year.

In the Wimmera / Mallee zone of Victoria, there has been a tradition of each pastor writing one lenten sermon and giving that address 5 times in five congregations different from his own.  This introduces the pastor to other congregations and buildings, and the people get to meet the pastor for elsewhere in the zone.  It also brings a freshness in change of preaching style, for example.

The advantages are obvious, but the cost is also apparent: the pastors who need to travel some distances late in the evening.  After 5 weeks of it, the toll is starting to show.  Not that I've had great distances this year - with the exception of last night, all my journeys were at most 35 minutes long one-way, last night being about 60 minutes one-way.

I do wish to be able to do lent in the way I did in my previous parish:
*   Instead of 4 hymns and at least 45 minutes long (otherwise people felt cheated), 2 hymns and maybe 30 minutes
*   Instead of driving every which way, journey time is measured in walking from the manse to the church
*   Instead of delivering the same general message 5 times, getting to move through lent with my flock

Ah well, maybe next year!

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