The week after Easter is usually a quiet one for pastors, many actually will take the week off to recover from the activities, and most parishioners are tired as well and tend to not want to either be at church or have much for the pastor to do, so the week tends to be quiet. I suppose that adequately describes last week, as I began the week with the kids off from school for Easter Monday. (Someone really needs to explain to me why the kids and/or teachers need a day after having a week off!)
Now that is not to say that it was a week off, since the work of the church continues. A portion of the week was spent getting ready for Pavel’s first Sunday, making sure the service was as straight forward as possible, sitting down with him and going over it so that he was comfortable. Might I add, it is a joy to have him with us as our new music director! It has been a difficult year for the music program, with Tom’s illness and death, and hopefully now we can begin to move forward.
This transition marks something of a new day at GPC, for now planning can begin. Since I have been here, this is the first time that the staff, Pavel, Margaret, Veronica and I, can now sit down and dream about how we envision worship and life at GPC. It is no small thing to do this, and I am looking forward to this opportunity and challenge.
Recognizing that the month is moving along, there was a meeting held last week to plan the next Evening for Outreach event which will be on Saturday, May 5th at 6 pm at the McGowan’s home. Make sure you have the date on your calendar! I am greatly appreciative to the work of Donna McGowan, Sandra Stashik and Margaret Somerville as we prepare for another wonderful gathering.
The week ended with a phone call from Ruth Santana Grace, the executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Philadelphia. We spoke about some concerns within the Presbytery but also spoke of two really exciting ventures. The first is the continued work to create a new West Philadelphia Presbyterian worshiping community that would combine First African Presbyterian Church, Calvin Presbyterian Church and Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church. We are beginning the process of site selection for where this community might be located., and I have been asked to help lead this process. The second is a program called 1001 Worshiping Communities, which is a program of the denomination to help create new non-traditional worshiping communities. We explored the possibility of creating one on Lower Merion. Just another thing for the To Do List.
Oops, almost forgot about Saturday night! It was a lot of fun heading down to the Philadelphia Union game, and while they tied the game, we had a lot fun. After the game, we had a chance to meet and speak with Ray Gaddis, a defender on the team, who shared his own faith story and how it has helped him in this life. The kids asked some great questions, and I think they took something away from it. Thanks to the Union and Ray for making this happen.