The previous two Blessed events caused me very little stress indeed. If you know me at all you will know how remarkable that is: every act of worship is an exploration of stress and nerves and the imminent implosion of the priest.
The Blessed: Change and first Blessed: Home gatherings went smoothly, preparations were calm (largely done by the established Blessed team who can just get on, and for whom I am always grateful) and the liturgy beautiful and effective. It was a pity therefore that so very few people came to either of them, with the absolute low point of the Blessed:Home in October. It knocked me hard, but perhaps that is what the enemy likes to do: to undermine our confidence and to sap our energy.
I was delighted therefore when a colleague in the next door parish asked me to repeat the last one for her young people at their Church: Holy Spirit, Southway, and a number of others decided to come as well. In all, 24 people came which is about right for a typical Blessed gathering. The massed numbers of Greenbelt makes the typical intimacy of a Blessed difficult, and the dynamics are very very different. 20-30 is how we usually are.
The preparation for it was fraught and filled with lots of ‘what have I forgotten?’ Lou however was able to come and and take control of that, although she was upset with me for trying to start the setup early. Sorry. It’s better if I just concentrate on the Tech and leave the ambiance to someone else. It always looks better as well when others do it.
The worship was marred by something beyond my control: a gathering in the Church Hall was using a microphone for bingo which intermittently came over into Church. We were unable to get them to stop but I pray it wasn’t too disturbing. Okay, it was disturbing. Sorry.
Response? Who knows? You know how young people are…
Someone posted a very kind comment on Facebook about it.
I suspect that as usual, most were mildly bewildered by it.
The challenge is to grow a local team interested in making the liturgy with me. In the past I has been a very communal process, and this is currently missing here. If you want to get creative there is space at this table…