Usual Thursday morning weight and treadmill workout. Morning Prayer (short form) in the car on the way in. Arrived in the office a little past 9:00.
This was “one of those days” when there were not only unscheduled distractions, but unscheduled distractions interrupting other unscheduled distractions (and sometimes yet another layer on top of those). It was hard to get traction on my planned to-do list. No tragedy. Not even a minor frustration.
Produced a working script of my sermon for January 13, which is set to be delivered at the Church of the Holy Communion in Charleston, South Carolina. Trying to lock this one down early since next week is heavy with travel.
Take-out lunch from China 1, eaten in the office. (If you go there for the buffet, get there early. I arrived at 12:20 and it was cleaned out, so I had to order off the menu.)
Met with Abby Yeley, one of the youth members of the Youth Department, to further develop plans for tomorrow night’s Eucharist at the beginning of their lock-in.
Spent the rest of the afternoon (save for a couple of incoming phone calls) on a single task that I should have know would take a long time, but forgot: plotting the preparation of sermons for Ash Wednesday through Trinity Sunday. Here’s what makes this both time-consuming and interesting: With as many years as I’ve regularly preached, I have a number of sermons that are potential candidates for refurbishing and updating. So, for any given occasion, I have to look at what I have available, look at the readings (since the RCL is very often different from the 1979 lectionary that many older sermons were based on), think about the parish where it will be delivered, and decide whether there is an older sermon I can use or whether the situation calls for something original. In the former case, there are only two tasks I have to generate and assign to dates. When I have to prepare a “from scratch” homily, that number expands to six, and in both cases I have to take into account how my weekday travel schedule impacts available prep time, and avoid creating problems for myself in already busy weeks. So I do this about four times a year, and it takes a couple or three hours, but it makes my life considerably less stressful downstream. There, that’s probably way more than you wanted to know.
Spoke by phone at some length with a priest outside the diocese seeking counsel over discernment of a potential call to the episcopate (in a particular diocese that is getting ready to go into election mode).
Evening Prayer (short form) in the car on the way home.