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2. My "holding two things in tension" Weekend

Saturday started early. I went to church for a planning morning. It was good to do. I wasn't really in the mood to be at planning day, but I'm glad I was there. I tried to be as focused as possible, but my mind kept wandering to other things.

When the planning morning finished it was set up time. Helen and I grabbed some lunch then began the long haul to 7:30 when our youth Term Celebration was to start. I was feeling a bit tired, a bit apprehensive about how the whole thing would turn out, but I was excited because tonight we were preaching the gospel and giving people a chance to respond. I had those to feelings running parallel most of the afternoon.

Things slowly came together. I was partly in charge of making sure set up happened because Helen was off dancing and Kaye was sick. I didn't do a very good job I think. I had a lot to do myself, and I wasn't very good at getting people focused. Don't ever say I'm a born leader.

The night got closer and things started coming together. People put the church together and it looked pretty good I thought. Especially for what people were working with (dirty, ripped blacking, fairy lights, gaffer tape and an assortment of colours pieces of cloth.)

The night arrived we showed my video and it was liked. Helen and her crew danced and that went down good too. Music was sung and I stood at the edge wondering what I was going to say when I had to do the big welcome. I was feeling a bit dodgy about the video, apprehensive about but still excited about the gospel. I got up and said that. At least the big about being excited about the gospel. I said it was going to be a big night because we had a big God who has done big things. Helen sat up the back punching the air and I felt like a charismatic youth minister.

After my opening, we played a stupid game with toilet brushes and toothpaste.

Mitch spoke and spoke good. He told us about the crucifixion, in all it's gory detail. It was good to hear him tell us about Jesus.

When the night was done we did a lot of packing up. I think everyone felt tired. We made it out by about twenty to 12.

Sunday I woke up feeling sleepy. Went to church and tried not to fall asleep at the wheel on the way there. I arrived at church to hear that a joke annoucement we had made the night before had been taken seriously by some of the younger kids and it had been quite upsetting for them. It's bad when people don't get the joke. I think it was our bad, not theirs.

I went and found some of the girls before church and said sorry for our joke. They were all very nice about it.

I ran my drama group but we didn't do much. We just sat around and talked. I ran an impromptu Bible study on faith and works and we ate pizza left over from the night before.

After church one of my youth group leaders told me he is pulling out of youth ministry. I wholely support him in that because he's making the decision he feels is right. Now God has to provide us with a new male leader, or some other solution. Something to pray about.

I went up to my office after that and started reading about baptism as I had to give a short talk about baptism at the baptism service that afternoon. I had no idea what baptism was about. At least not confidently and I'd forgotten all about the talk. I read sitting on the floor in the corner. It was at that stage I was feeling bler. Too much to worry about, too little sleep. Helen found me studying my old theology text book and we had a long discussion about copyright and I told her how I felt about the whole thing.

The afternoon was a usual Sunday afternoon (lunch and a meeting) till I had to go to the baptism service. I got there feeling nervous. I was nervous because I had to go in the pool and baptize people (dunk people, Steve said the words), and because I had to do an under prepared talk on baptism. I had never been to a full immersion baptism before, let alone baptized anyone. I didn't want to go in, I might get it wrong, and drown someone, or so some dunking taboo. I was feeling a little out of my depth, so to speak.

The service started and I did my talk. It went good, I can't remember what I said but I think it was theologically correct. I talked from Romans 6.

Then it was baptism time. I got to go second. I watched Helen do the girls and I didn't feel too bad about it. It looked pretty easy. So in I went. The water was cold and everyone was watching me. The first person came in, I put my hand on their back and their shoulder "We baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" and I pushed them under. Then pushed them back up again. We (the sponsor and I) put a sign of the cross on their head and that was it. It was easy. But it was great. I loved it. It was really special to be able to play that role in these people spiritual journeys. I sponsored two kids who came in and that was even more special. That I was actually asked to be the person who stood in there with them, not just because I was a paid member of staff. To be there right next to them when the declared to the world that they have died to sin and are alive in Christ. Fantastic.

Gospel and Baptism, what a weekend.

I went back to church and got changed, I had to dress up a little because the service that night was a confirmation service. I was the first person to meet the Bishop when he arrived. The good Anglican in me got all excited about the Bishop visiting. He didn't remember me though.

The service was fun. The Bish spoke good. The lights stayed on the whole service. I took photos of the confirmiees and then waited for everyone to go home.

I went to Maccas and found no-one there. Rach and friends had deserted me. Helen turned up a bit later so I didn't have to spend the time alone (even if I did have sms company). I came home and have no memory of what happened after that.