I've been thinking about defining a chaos scale. Kind of like the Richter scale for earthquakes or the Beaufort scale for wind.
Last week in particular was very busy. With my training incumbent away, the phone calls to the vicarage come through to me, and last week it was very busy on the phone. It seems that now spring is here, thoughts of many people around here are turning to Baptisms, and it was my smart idea to suggest that clergy visit soon after an initial Baptism enquiry is made (along the lines of the Weddings Project suggestion for weddings) Previously, the office took the booking but we may not visit the family for many months depending on how far in advance the Baptism was booked.
This week, I've done five visits.
That registers highly on the chaos scale as it eats into other time I may have available for preparation for other things. But it's all about building good relationships and I really enjoy it.
Some fruits of this approach were evident at yesterday's family service. We had over 60 people in church - around two dozen children, and there were three families there who have recently started coming regularly following the Baptism of their children.
The service itself registered quite high on the chaos scale - with all those children around, there's a certainly inevitablility to that. But they were mostly engaged and had plenty to do in the service which seemed to help. The giving of Communion was less ordered than usual but no-one seemed to mind, and I was really pleased that a Banns family came to the altar for a blessing as they prepare for their wedding in a few weeks. There was a lovely atmosphere and we are blessed with having the kind of old(er) ladies who really like having a lively service for families and not the kind I have met elsewhere who might otherwise complain.....
So if my scale of chaos is to reflect anything, it will probably reflect when I have time to blog. Infrequently just now, but I hope to redress that this week, which, at the moment has (deliberately) fewer appointments and (fortuitously) no sermon to preach on Sunday.
I'll keep thinking about how I'd like to express my chaos scale, but feel free to make suggestions!
Although it has been busy, I did want to share some moments where I felt the chaos was particularly hallowed. For God is there to be found anywhere anyone chooses to look.
A fantastic concert by my son's school...... a lovely Communion in a sheltered housing complex...... a very moving hospital visit with a man with dementia - as he struggled to remember his wife's death, and wept for her, he paused and uttered a prayer from his heart, "Lord, help me!".......... some laughs with the Cubs as they talked about objects in the church...... praying with a dying man..... the peace of the 8 o'clock Communion service on Sunday.
So, tired but blessed, I continue to embrace such hallowed chaos.
Image of Richter scale via http://mishunderstanding.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/what-is-the-richter-scale/