That's beside the point. I'm just really proud of myself for getting some sleep.
My first day at the office started at 9:00 a.m. with morning prayers in the chapel at NUMC. This is a daily thing that the pastoral staff does and which is open to anyone who wants to come. They rotate weekly who leads prayers, and today Brenda led. She read this week's lectionary passage from Acts and then invited us into a period of silence, after which we went through the prayer request cards people had filled out on Sunday. We also took joys and concerns from within the group present and prayed together, closing with a hymn. I'm pretty stoked to be starting my days like this. (Theoretically, that's how my days start at Duke, but those days start at 6:30 a.m., so, yeah.)
I totally overdressed, by the way. I wore an awesome new dress from Anthropologie with a pair of heels that is super cute, but the right shoe squeaks when I walk. I've had them for years, and every time I put them on, I think, "This time it won't squeak." It always squeaks. I need to get rid of them. Anyway, I overshot the office dress code, but I figured it was better to over-dress than to under-dress. Plus, did I mention my new dress is awesome? Because it is.
After prayers, I spent some time talking to Brenda about plans for worship at Lockerbie Central UMC, where I'll spend some time this summer in addition to being at North. They're planning to experiment with a new worship format where they start with a time of prayer and worship, then move into a time of conversation that is structured but not a sermon. I may get to help lead one or two of these sessions, and I'm interested to see how it goes.
By the way, when I walked into Brenda's office, the first things I saw were the guitar and the huge Bose speaker tower. Amazing.
After that, I spent some time in Nancy Fykes' office. Nancy is Kevin's assistant, and her office is where my desk is. She took me on a full tour of the building, got me set up with a computer login, email, calendar and such, plus gave me keys to the building and my registration info for Annual Conference, which is next week. Nancy is on the ball.
For lunch, Kevin took myself and the three Kenya interns (plus Laura Steed, who just graduated from Duke Divinity and is going back to Kenya for 18 months, having spent last summer there) to Patachou (I'm trying to do a better job of logging my restaurant escapades here—I had the Caesar Salad Wrap and their Highlander Grog coffee, per Kevin's recommendation). Not only was lunch delicious, it was fun to hear the other interns (Lindsey Long, Lydia Malone and Camille Glover) talk about their hopes for the summer. I especially liked Lydia's answer to the question about expectations, because she said quite simply that she wanted to learn to love God more. And when they asked me about my hopes for North, I was able to tell them quite honestly that I'm not jealous of the Kenya interns (because I was worried I would be); I already felt really at home at North on Sunday and am so excited about being here for the summer. Sure, I'd love to go to Kenya someday, and I know my beautiful colleagues will meet God there; but my call right now is to meet God in Indianapolis, and I couldn't be happier to be here.
After lunch was my first staff meeting, and it was genuinely fun. We did some get-to-know-you games for the sake of us interns and talked about various upcoming events at the church. The Farmer's Market, which is held in the church parking lot, starts this Thursday, and June 13-15 is Party in the Park, a community outreach festival they started last year (I think). There's plenty else going on, those were just two neat examples. I also got to talk to Brenda and Mark (the music minister) about worship; I'm figuring out Pentecost, and the Sunday after (June 19) I'll be singing a solo in church. They're putting a lot of trust in me, having never heard my voice.
For the remainder of the day, I worked on my calendar and the bulletin for Pentecost. I had to come up with a sermon title, and an off-the-cuff post on Facebook solicited these ideas (titles for a sermon of unknown topic):
- "Insert Sermon Title Here" (Anna Jensen)
- "Reading Between the Lines" (inside joke with Kathy Smallridge dating back to high school)
- "Reading Between the Lions" (Matt Rawle's early Christianity update to the previous suggestion)
- "Hey Paul! Is That a Thorn in Your Side or Are You Just Happy to See Me?" (Ron Beaton, a fellow 2012 M.Div.)
Anyway, I came home for a bit after work before going back out to a dinner with the Green Samaritans, an adult group from the church. Kevin had invited me along but had to leave as soon as he got there because his father was just admitted to the hospital (prayers, please). So I ended up having a delightful evening listening to hilarious stories about kayaking mishaps and learning about what plants you can and can't grow in Indianapolis. These people were so friendly, as everyone at the church has been so far, and it was wonderful to get a chance to sit down and talk to folks. They even made up nametags to wear for my sake, which I appreciated. (Note to self: get your hands on a church directory ASAP.) Perhaps the best part was Doris...who will get her own post. For now, I'll just tell you that I've been noticing beautiful textile and multimedia banners and pieces of art around the church, and I had been told the woman who makes them is 93 and has been doing that for North for decades. I got to meet her and learn about her work tonight, and seriously, it merits its own post, but I need to get my hands on some pictures first.
Apparently sunset was at 9:06 p.m. tonight; it was at 8:31 p.m. in Charlotte. Sunrise is closer together though. I hadn't thought about daylight being different here until I talked to my mom around 9:30 and we still had some light. But I digress. My first day at the office was wonderful. Tomorrow will probably involve more work on worship for North and Lockerbie Central; I will also probably attend a meeting of the board of directors of the Global Interfaith Partnership in the afternoon. And I can probably delay my bike ride until after all of that, since apparently it stay light out past 9:00 here. Good night!