It’s been more than a month since my last post. There’s not much excuse for it other than I’ve been busy. The last month has been an insane sprint to prepare things for this fall at Schweitzer, get our new Saturday night worship service off the ground (it had a great start on the 9th), and help clean up some staffing issues at Educara.
Part of my insanity has been the recent campaign we’ve been doing at Schweitzer for the fall sermon series about distractions. We’ve had 10 billboards a month with 4 different images of a guy in a gorilla suit that direct people to AreYouDistracted.com. The other part of the campaign has been the video podcast of the gorilla – schweitzerumc.org/gorilla. We got the idea from the sex campaign that Granger did last spring.
This campaign has been a lot of fun and we’re still producing gorilla videos for the web site and use in worship. Some of those may get posted to the web site, but most will just be used at our worship services. I haven’t done busy video production in a long time and putting together location shots then editing a 60-90 second video each week has been considerably more work than I remembered. Most of them have involved several cameras and the guy in the gorilla suit.
Saturday night went amazingly well. We had 165 people in attendance many of whom are not regular Schweitzer attendees and several first-time visitors. We’re really focusing on making the Saturday night experience something that is comfortable for people without a church family.
I left yesterday after church for the drive to Assumption Abbey – a monastery about 20 miles SE of Ava, MO. They have a satellite network connection and it’s fairly good so far. I’ll be here until Wednesday morning recharging and doing some research/writing for the Bible study I’m leading this fall. The grounds are nice, my room is simple (but everything I need), there is no cell phone coverage, and the network is only available in the library (so I’m connected on my terms). Yesterday was great I got here, took a nap, took a walk, went to a prayer and meditation service, went to dinner, did some reading and went to bed. Today is for Hebrews research and writing. I’m planning on going to the service at 11:45 before lunch and then maybe a walk this afternoon before I write up the morning’s reading. I’m feeling much more grounded already.
There is a lot of value to taking a few days for simplicity – reading, relaxation, prayer, and a healthy amount of sleep.