When I first started teaching, the dean thought it would be a good idea for me to warm up to the vocation (after five years in the pastorate) by teaching summer school. The summer school was designed for second-career folk—those called into the pastoral ministry late in life. Some of these students, I was to discover, are the most interesting kind. Many of them have walked away from lucrative jobs. Many are already serving in some—shall we say—challenging congregations.
I remember I was lecturing on “effective liturgical leadership.” Using some of Robert Hovda’s thoughts on liturgical leadership, I was stressing how the one who presides in the liturgy sets the tone for the assembly, conveys the church’s faith in its acts of worship. A hand went up.