I'm pleased to report on a good day for the church, and for my service. I went through difficult frozen conditions over the Humber Bridge too to get the church, and so expected just a handful to turn up, but it was the biggest turnout for months. Also we have a couple of first timers, Islamic in identity as it happened, so I was quite pleased that my intercession included the new Unitarian grouping of Jemaat Allah Global Indonesia (in my last service I spoke about new Unitarian groups appearing in Africa). The service was well liked, in some cases for the effort put in, and for the argument and the music. In one of those co-incidences that add to life, my reference to Swine related to one member's childhood memories.
The CD method worked. Everything was in order, from edited computer files to produce an audio CD for the occasion. Good job I made a back-up, as the first one in (and was tested too) started to show signs of jumping. So I put the back up in and it worked without a fault.
Indeed a lot of effort went into this service, especially as the prayer and liturgical material was original except for the connecting with the Budapest Unitarians and weaving in (in one case rewriting) their material. I do have to be more efficient on this. I apologised for the service overrunning. I could see that it would, a ten minute extension really. One of the newer attenders said how he also found the church strange too in a number of ways, as my sermon explained, and particularly the low numbers.
But you know when a place is on the up, because things start to cohere, and I noted how well people greet each other and we did give our newcomers a good welcome. From abroad and students here, they couldn't find a mosque, so chose to come to this church too, and thus the sermon was a relevant topic for them if from a different angle. The church in the 1980s used to have a Reformed Jew as a regular attender, which is a pattern of attendance better known in the United States where denominationalism is more fluid and there is a meeting of minds and overlap between liberal Jews and Unitarian Universalists. One of the reasons the church is working is because members of the congregation volunteer to take services, although next week there is a visiting minister.
I just feel I can express myself, in a way that I cannot in Anglicanism. For one thing, Anglicans reserve much of their worship activity to clergy and the licensed, all of whom make promises and are representative of some bishop. I suppose Unitarians have a collective responsibility, one to another, but other than that it's fairly free in what you do. There are the usual tramlines of hymns and meditations and giving an address, but the content is more or less what you make it but has to be usable and useful for others.
I hung about after the service because only then could I take the trouble to check out the sound system. The sound system has phono inputs but resident player only had phono inputs. However, the player I took was a good quality sound and that was important. I've not finished my experimenting yet in that I'll take a player with outputs and see if this transforms the sound quality.
So that was good, and surprising and the theme of old and new beginnings also related to Epiphany in the Christian calendar and I added in the secular meaning of epiphany too.