Well, not really my first; I've preached a couple times before as a lay leader. But I preached today in teaching parish for the first time; thanks to tgawarmychris
for the beta.
Easter C, 2007
John 20:19-31( Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come. )
Pastor said it was too short (only about eight minutes when I practiced before-hand, which probably makes it about six in practice because you always talk faster when it's real), but the congregation thought it was just the right length. Everybody said they liked it, some with enough specifics for me to really believe it; for a lot of them, there's a distinct
possibility they liked because (a) they like me, (b) they want to encourage young people in the church and this is my first time preaching for them, (c) they think I'm a cute young thing and I remind them of their granddaughter(s), (d) they liked getting out earlier than usual, or (e) all of the above. We'll see what happens next week when I preach again next week.
So, first service, pastor sat out in the congregation because he has to evaluate my "performance" (voice, gestures, expression, etc.) as well as the content of the sermon. He was sitting off in the corner by himself, so I could only just
see him out of the corner of my eye. Lutherans tend to sit there like bumps on a log during sermons; if it moves us, we don't tend to show it externally very well, which can be extremely unnerving for a pastor, particularly a novice, because you really can't judge how well it's going by looking at the congregation. First service (early in the morning when a lot of people are still half asleep) is even worse than second service, particularly at St. Paul's which has no music first service to help people wake up. First service this morning was the first time I'd preached in about three years, and the stone faces I was getting from the congregation--most of whom weren't even looking at me--were more than a little bit discouraging. I finish my sermon, sit down, pastor comes back up and starts the service again. He didn't even look
at me, much less say anything (and there are a couple of breaks right after the sermon where we can and have in the past exchanged a few words of private conversation on various subjects without breaking the flow of the service). Nothing. Needless to say, maintaining the proper worship focus for the rest of the service was ... difficult, to say the least.
Note: Easter 2 (the Sunday after Easter) is a traditional day for seminarians to preach. First, after all the extra services of Lent and (especially) Holy Week, most pastors need the break. Second, it's often a sparsely attended service, being right after Easter, so there's less pressure.
On a completely different note, I haven't written any fanfiction besides my Remix fic in over a month because I've been so busy with school. I haven't even had time to beta anything. I'm feeling ... itchy about it. Writing for class is not
the same as creative writing for fun, y'know? But the rest of the semester is going to be at least as bad, time-wise, so I really don't see more fics in my immediate future. Grr.