I’ve had several surprises these two weeks away from college. In forms of phone calls, texts, meetings, letters, gifts… it’s been great! And my surprise this morning came in a slightly nerve-wracking form…
Sat down for the 10:30 service this morning, I saw Janet (dear friend and parish administrator) begin to hurry towards me. I assumed she was going to ask me something about the service tomorrow evening, or the booklets that needed putting together for various services. Instead, she sat next to me and said, “Father Simon has asked if you would like to serve today. I can serve with you and lead you. What do you think?” I was confused. Bewildered. And nervous. I was spluttering things like “What?! But I haven’t had a training session for about 8 months! I won’t know what to do!”… and I began to laugh a little. She smiled. “I think it’s a good idea as well; it means you can get real experience now, and you’ll be alright if you follow me.”
And so, laughing (nervously and excitedly) I agreed, slowly stood up, pardoned my absence from Lynn (who I was sat next to), and trotted off to get robed. I think putting the robe on was probably the most complicated part of the service! Yet laughing away we figured it out. I think Janet was more nervous than me in the end, and if I’d been in her position I would have been too! But Dianne (dear friend and Verger) gave her a hug and off we went.
In a word: Brilliant. 🙂 There’s something very peaceful about being in the Sanctuary during a service. So stilling. And it felt so right for me to be up there.
The shaking of hands and hugs at the end with congregation and (lay) clergy closed a successful first service of serving. I was glad that it went well, glad by my friends’ responses, glad by a text from my mum (in Scotland) later that day to say “hav fun my little server! luv u”, and glad by a phone conversation with my Dad (in Scotland) who misses me (and I him).
I’m thankful for Fr Simon’s surprise and for his trust in both me and Janet, as I am thankful for Janet’s guidance and reassuring nods and smiles. I’m thankful to God for the opportunity to be in these moments. For being in the Sanctuary, for serving, for living, for the peaceful moments I have found so much more of in this Easter break. Easter carries so much meaning. And I’m immensely grateful for what God has given me.
Again I find myself wondering: Whatever next?…