The First Sunday: Technology Glitches and Surprised CopingPosted: July 18, 2014
My Husband’s First Sunday as Pastor
This past Sunday was the first time my husband led a service as Pastor. He was naturally a bit nervous when leaving for church Sunday morning but was also excited. However, the start of the service set off a dazzling sound system failure.
First, he couldn’t get his microphone to turn on. He had to awkwardly stand in front of the congregation as he fiddled with the pack. When he finally got it on, the sound wasn’t balanced correctly. Have you ever listened to an old speech in front of a large crowd? It echos across the masses, almost repeating the words of the speech. Now think about how that would sound in a small sanctuary. That’s how my husband sounded.
I’m fairly certain that there were some members frantically trying to fix the problem throughout the first half of the service. However, the strange auditorium echo remained when my husband started preaching. About 5 minutes into the sermon, the sound system gave up and created an eardrum splitting round of feedback. My husband asked to have the sound turned off at the point. On the bright side, everyone was quite awake for at least part of the sermon.
The worst part of all this was that several of the same problems occurred at the ordination service, so some members of the congregation worked on fixing the problem this past week. They thought they had everything sorted out, so to have the same issues occur again was frustrating for everybody.
Naturally, the glitches on Sunday didn’t fall completely on the sound system. There were the usual hiccups that occur when a new pastor does a service with a congregation for the first time. My husband forgot to tell the organist about using a seasonal antiphon. The congregation (myself included) got confused about what we were supposed to respond with during the prayer of the church. Overall, it wasn’t the smoothest service. When he got home, my husband shook his head and said, “I was just waiting for a dog to walk in.”
The good news is that Bible study seemed to go much better. Despite my husband using a Power Point presentation, there wasn’t any technological snafus. Nobody stormed out of the study deeply offended. That’s not saying much seeing how we’re Midwestern Lutherans and such a public display of emotion would be unsightly.
My First Sunday as Pastor’s Wife
I had been dreading this first Sunday in a new congregation ever since we returned from vicarage. Since attending services the first few months of vicarage was a horrible, anxiety-inducing struggle, I was concerned that I would wind up in the bathroom stall with a panic attack at our new church.
However, Sunday turned out to be surprisingly peaceful. Well, at least it was only uncomfortably awkward and not panic-inducing. I believe part of this relates to how sound carries inside the church. Our vicarage church’s fellowship hall was loud and often had 60-80 people milling around between service and Bible study. The noise overstimulated me, leaving me confused and anxious. Our new church’s fellowship hall isn’t nearly as loud; it is also a smaller congregation than our vicarage church.
Leave it to me to feel relieved that there are less people attending church.
Another helpful factor was that two members from our vicarage congregation surprised us by attending service (they were vacationing in the area). It was a comfort to see a pair of familiar faces.
Overall, I left Bible study feeling like maybe, just maybe, I could swing this pastor’s wife thing after all.