Sunday, 10 March 2013

A different kind of writing

I was asked in January by my vicar to 'preach' on Mothering Sunday (today).  I should explain that I am Branch Leader of Mothers' Union at my church and this was the opportunity to talk about what we do in the UK and worldwide.  However, this was something so far out of my comfort zone that it has hung like a black cloud over me all these weeks, and especially in the last week.  I could have backed out but something inside me didn't want to.  I really wanted to do it to promote the organisation I've been a member of since 1994 and have been part of for slightly longer than that.  So I took up the challenge.

Thank God I do 'a bit of writing'! But this was something different. Still, I did a draft and showed it to another member who is our Area Vice President.  She helped me with a couple of points I wasn't so sure about from the research point of view and then I showed it to our vicar.  He was happy too but wanted to know more about one aspect of our work that I'd just touched on.  So I researched it more and tweaked my words.

I was still fiddling with it this morning before I left!  My fellow members and others in the congregation wished me luck.  One lady said she had prayed for me.  I was so touched and I could feel the love surrounding me. I was so grateful and it buoyed me up.  How could I fail?

I know at times I did read a little quicker than I meant to (nerves always makes me do this) but I began to slow it down.  Once I'd started it actually wasn't too bad.  I just kept reading and not thinking!  My....sorry, can't call it a sermon....presentation lasted about 7/10 minutes and at times I was worried that I might lose my listeners but afterwards people came up to me and said how great it was.  My vicar actually said that 'it normally takes years for a novice to reach that level.'  Blimey!  It is now going to be published in our Parish Magazine!

Finding a way into this piece was the difficult part but once I personalised it with my own background the rest fell into place.  I would never have done this ten years go.  All those assignments I did for Open University, my poetry writing, articles and blogging, etc. all those I'm sure helped me to put this together.  The encouragement from my friends and my own faith got me through this.   Everything we write counts, whether we are paid for it or not.  It all goes to make us better writers.  Standing up and reading it was so scary and the relief that it's over is so great! But  now, I think, why did I worry all those weeks? It wasn't as bad as I imagined after all. Well, that's just me and if I really thought I couldn't do it I wouldn't have agreed, so inside me there must have always been that faith in myself and that surprised me!!

Because our branch was just about running the show this morning I had also found two readers (for the Lessons), someone to carry our banner and this morning moved our noticeboard into the hall and made sure the lady was okay sorting out the bake sale and found four people to take up the communion wine etc! My poor brain! By the time the posies for Mothering Sunday (made on Friday) were blessed I was so relaxed.  It was the end of the service and I was going home soon to a pasta bake made by my son.

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