Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sermon feedback and prayer reflection

Proper feedback on last week's sermon was really useful. There were points I took to the table, including hot cross buns and crumpets not necessarily being explained well and me speaking very slowly and clearly (to the point where, when I listened to bits of my sermon online I was surprised how slow I sounded).

Bottom line was, it was very good. Speed can be increased a bit, but better to be a bit slow than people not hearing me. Need to make sure I refer to both the readings more than just obliquely (which I'd realised too). As I get to know the congregation I'll get to know what they need to hear and what they know and what their concerns are. Which is all fair enough and nothing I didn't expect or see myself (phew!).

Talk of the sermon has gone on beyond the congregation which was gathered last week. It being the holidays, there were some people away (I know, what is the world coming to?). At least 3 different people mentioned they'd heard I'd preached a very good sermon and were sorry they'd missed it. I know I'm maybe setting my standards high, but it's humbling to think I have such a supportive and loving congregation for probation.

But, just to show that not only can I make mistakes, I am a reflective practitioner, what about today? I was on the prayers, which I had to actually write, rather than research (the downside with being somewhere that it not a slave to the lectionary - which is no bad thing). They did tie in with the rest of the service, despite Laura and I not really discussing their contents. I knew what the readings were and that there was a baptism, so shaped them around that knowledge. Goodness, it's hard work writing for a living (basically, because it takes time to really craft them, but the amount of words and time it takes to deliver them does not necessarily colerate)

After the service, the session clerk wondered how much Laura and I had co-ordinated with one another. Not much (if at all). She was really impressed, as the prayers tied in so well they could have been written by the same person who constructed the rest of the service. Thanks Holy Spirit! It is reassuring that the hard work did work.

That said, I slightly messed up the Lord's prayer! Airside uses the 'modern' version and, for over a year, I've been using the 'traditional' version. Just in case I used the 'wrong' one, I even wrote the modern version into my prayer. It was all going so well until I got to the last sentence, where I reverted. Oops. I suspect few, if any (apart from the person sitting to my right) will have noticed, as I drop my voice during leading the Lord's prayer, so I am praying with the congregation, rather than leading it. Just need to be careful.

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