Thursday, March 30, 2006

Anybody else hate installations??

I don't so much mind going to other peoples' ordinations or installations, but I really wish I could skip the whole thing where I'm the birthday girl, so to speak. I've got a great friend lined up to come preach--I've owed him a phone call for a couple of weeks to talk details. I keep putting it off. Our newsletter person keeps bugging me for a blurb on the upcoming event for the newsletter. I keep putting her off. I need to talk to the choir director, the youth bell choir leader, our Executive Presbyter, our Presbytery Moderator about their "part". I keep figuring out reasons why today is not a good day to work on that stuff.

At small church, no one was really expecting a big do. We got away with doing something really low key and everyone was happy. But the pressure is on to make this more of an EVENT. My parents are flying out.

Can someone explain to me what is the point of an installation??? I mean, ordination yes. I can see making a big deal out of that. But after nearly 17 years in the biz, I feel like one of those awful brides who keeps demanding that everyone make the same fuss for her fifth wedding as they did for her first. Yesterday someone asked what kind of invitations I was sending out. Invi-friging-tations??? Do I have to get love stamps?

Can't we just skip the whole thing??


Ginger said...

"Love stamps"... yes, you do! :) Hee hee! Perhaps you could order some thermography invitations -- and include a registry list in the envelope!

OK, seriously, I am with you on this one. Best of luck navigating the expectations...

--Ginger at walkhumbly.blogspot

Susie said...

In ECUSA, the service is called "celebration of a new ministry" or something like that. When its done well, it really ends up being about launching on a new journey for the whole congregation, and has much less of the "throwing myself a party" feel. Of course... it doesn't always work. But its a nice idea.

SpookyRach said...

So how about using that paragraph about the fifth wedding as your newsletter blurb?


Songbird said...

Someone who made a huge fuss about an installation has ever since been referred to as "King Whatshisname" at our house.

peripateticpolarbear said...

The way I figure it---and I've had just one installation in my life, having worked outside the PCUSA since then---an installation is mostly about the congregation. It's about their finding a pastor, about their sticking with the process, about their new journey. I like it when ordinations and installations are split into two ceremonies for first calls, so that new pastors "get it" that it's about the church, not them. Unfortunately, I've found that churches want to have a big do and want to celebrate the new pastor, rather than themselves.

Of course you have invitations! You photocopy them on colored paper and send them to every church in the presbytery. If you're lucky the presbytery gives you the mailing labels.

The best installation I ever went to include a lengthy blessing for the search committee and a teeny tiny charge for the pastor.

Of course, you could just wear a wedding dress and be the bride again!

Quotidian Grace said...

I ditto PPB.

The installation is for the benefit of the church--to bring closure to the process of letting go of the previous pastoral experience and to affirm the new pastor's role with the church. Even though you feel like they are fussing over you, the fussing is part of their acceptance of the transition.

Does that help? If not, just remind yourself that it will all soon be over...

Sophia said...

I'm also with PPB.

When my home congregation installed our current rector, it was after YEARS of not having a priest. We were quite ready to CELEBRATE and there was a sense that things were finally starting to look up for the congregation.

That was 5 years ago and you know what? That congregation is thriving under that person's leadership. We were right to celebrate! :-)