I will eventually be able to share my sermon with you. There will be a video of it on our church's website and there will also be a recording made for the radio program that airs weekly on a local Christian radio show. Jeff took some pictures for you- these are staged. Would have been a little strange to be posing for pictures while giving the sermon! But I did try and go through what I had been doing during my sermon for the sake of realism...
It went well. I will say that church has never gone faster for me. The morning flew by.
First service always has a smaller crowd and a more intimate feel. Perfect for the first delivery. I stayed behind the music stand and I think I did a good job of reading but also looking up and connecting with the congregation. I didn't always go with what was written on my paper- some of the bits that were more story telling were "off script."
I know I connected emotionally with a lot of people- I could tell by their faces as I spoke. It was interesting to watch the faces and see when people would fade out and when they really listened and when they were purposefully looking at me to cheer me on!
The topic of the sermon... well, I'm not a very "topical" person so it's hard for me to pinpoint it. I was telling my story of how I came to be involved and how my involvement has grown and changed and what being really connected in and involved at my church means to me. I focused on using Time, Talent, and Treasure as a way to make God's love actionable.
And just as I am quite gifted at being rather wordy here on the blog, I'm quite capable of talking for a long time, too. I clocked in at just over 23 minutes- which is the exact time that is ideal for editing for the radio show.
After each service, I received fantastic support and love from my church family. People I know as good friends hugged me and praised me. People that I greet each week but don't know well went out of their way to thank me for the message. Some of the things people said to me meant a lot- like hearing that I was a really good storyteller or being told that my friend was proud of me (said as she hugged me tightly). Shared an emotional hug from my father-in-law; I was touched because I knew he was proud of me.
But what I wanted most of all was a hug from my husband. And I got it and more- I know he was proud of me and that he appreciated what I had to say in my sermon.
My husband was proud of me.
I was nervous. But I was also excited and I felt very purposeful. I knew why I was there and I knew the message that God had given me to deliver. When I had been working on writing my sermon, I had all kinds of ideas that went nowhere when I sat down to write. One Sunday, during a sermon, I got the loud and clear message that I needed to share my own story. Thankfully, I carry a notebook with me and was able to start jotting down what eventually became the outline. As soon as I could get to my computer... I prayed and opened myself up and I wrote and wrote and wrote. I didn't change a lot from that first rough draft that I'd sent to my pastor to review. I didn't rehearse my sermon a lot or read it over and over and over. I went in and shared the message I was intended to share. I was honest and genuine in everything that I said and shared- just as I am here on the blog.
I enjoyed the experience and I know that I am still processing what it all means to my connection to God and to my church and to my friends and family. Oh, and Jeff did sneak in one picture during my sermon...
Psssst... those are my brand new, size 12 capris that I just bought. They have this awesome "comfort fit waistband" (Lee) that prevents them from gapping when I lean forward or squat down and the waistband doesn't flip over when I sit.