My placement assessor is on holiday at the moment and her worship team is leading worship while she's away. They've been covering her leave for about a year since their parish assistant left. They are saving the congregation the cost (and hassle) of getting locum cover and allowing members to use their God given talents by leading worship.
While my assessor is away, I am leading the bible readings. Today I only led them at the first service (there are services at 9:30 and 11am). As the service was finished by 10:15 my hubbie suggested we attend worship at my home church. I, too, thought this was a good idea as I haven't been since mid-June and it would be good to catch up.
Well, I know in some ways I'm in with the wood, but very few people acknowledged my presence. When I went to get a hymn book (no order of service - not in July and August) the people on the door were deep in conversation and didn't even notice me. I'm glad I wasn't a visitor. There was one and I think my hubbie and I were the only people to really say "hello". I hope they received a better reception on the door than I did!!!
My minister did a couple of things during the service I didn't like. He got the whole congregation to read the psalm. I've only experienced communal reading on 2 places before today and one of them was school. I'm sorry, but reading as a collective to me always sounds really bored or sarcastic. Also, I can't remember what the psalm said, only I didn't like this reading together. I didn't take part, but listened and everyone sound really bored. I doubt anyone will remember what the psalm was trying to say, but they will remember it for all the wrong reasons.
He also used the sermon to give the congregation a lecture on John Calvin. Now, I'll give you he was a huge influence on the reformation especially in Scotland via John Knox, but I don't think a sermon is the appropriate place to tell us about it. Besides, it didn't tie in with the readings at all. There was a passing comment at the end of the sermon, but it was almost like a one-liner at justify discussing Calvin.
Maybe I'm being more critical because I'm only visiting. Maybe I'm just noticing because I need to notice. I don't know. What I do know though is I feel a little like when you visit your parents house when you've moved out. It's the same house, the home you were brought up in. It just doesn't feel like home anymore.
Oh, and my hubbie found this site. I have nothing to add, except. WHAT?!