L. Gail Irwin is an interim minister in Wisconsin and the author of Toward the Better Country: Church Closure and Resurrection (Wipf & Stock). She blogs at From Death to Life, part of the CCblogs network.
So, 34 couples got married in a live, mass wedding during the Grammy Awards. Queen Latifah (no, not ordained) officiated at the ceremony, against a projected image of stained glass windows. A gospel choir joined in singing behind Madonna while the couples, old and young, gay and straight, exchanged rings.
Baptism is the ritual doorway through which we enter Christian life. So I always found it strange that one of my churches had no font. They only had a small silver bowl given to them by another congregation when they were a new church start, 40 years before I arrived. They only brought it out for baptisms, so there was no visible reminder of the sacrament in the sanctuary.
An interim ministry position is a funny gig. The Interim is not called but hired. S/he is not installed, not permanent, and often not paid as much as the “permanent” (or “settled”) pastor. I knew early on that interim work is viewed as a second-tier career track when a guy at a nursing home said, “You’re a pretty good preacher. I’ll bet you could be a real minister.” I didn’t bother to tell him I’ve been a “real minister” for 25 years.