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celtic-cross-with-sunrise.jpg I had today planned perfectly. When I arrived at the office, I planned to spend the day getting ready for an important meeting tonight about the community center. But the life of a small church pastor in a small town isn’t always amenable to planning. So, instead of spending the day at my desk, I spent it talking and listening to folks like these:

  • Sterling and Tommy, our volunteer church handypersons, were working in the sanctuary attic when Tommy found an old wooden pulley used to lower our massive copper and brass light fixture from it’s 30-foot height, down to the floor for cleaning. They had just installed a new winch and chain, supported by new pieces of steel, when they discovered the old wooden pulley. After some conversation, the pulley went in our memorabilia room, joining photographs, artifacts, and old books from our history.
  • Betty, our new deacon chairperson, dropped by to go over the deacons’ meeting agenda for next Monday. Betty has hit the ground running and has lots of good ideas, one of which was a prayer room. I told her I liked that idea, and so we’re going to discuss it next week with our deacons.
  • Jean called to give me an update on her father, Pete, who was taken to the hospital early Sunday morning by our local rescue squad. I rushed over to their house before the ambulance arrived, and talked to Pete and Jeannete. We prayed together before the EMTs took Pete to the hospital. Thankfully, he’s improving, though still in ICU. Debbie and I will drive 2-hours one-way tomorrow to see them both.
  • A couple from Kansas came by to ask if I would marry them in our sanctuary on Wednesday. Lori found the man’s church membership record with the date of his baptism in1956. So, on Wednesday I’ll marry Hugh and Barbara in the sanctuary where Hugh was baptized 51-years ago.
  • I went home about 3:30 to have coffee with Debbie, when Bill called from the local funeral home just across the street from our house. Friends of one of our members were there to make arrangements for her since hospice has been called in to care for her. Barbara is from Chatham, but moved away 50-years ago. She wants her life to end the way it began, here in Chatham. I walked over to meet them, and we planned part of her funeral service today.
  • Tonight’s meeting about the community center went well, even though I wasn’t as prepared as I wanted to be. We’ll move in the center in May, so we have lots to do in the next 4-months.

That was my day. Not planned, but just fine nevertheless. Real people living real lives in a small town called Chatham. And all their lives brim over with faith and family and friends. I like what I do.