I officiated a wedding at my former church last night. It was for a really super young couple, and all their family have always been very nice to us. Fortunately there were only two other people from church in attendance, and they had always been nice to us too. It was the first time we'd seen them since I was released, and the woman couldn't even talk at first. Every time she started to she just started crying. Anyway, it all went very well. This will likely be the last time we will ever be in that building. Kind of sad considering I spent almost every single day there for almost 14 years.
I wondered how I would feel when doing the wedding there, but it didn't really seem that odd to me. I suppose I was busy doing stuff. Jane probably had a harder time. She was running the sound board and playing the wedding music, so she had more time to sit and think. The weirdest part for me was not knowing where things were or having access to my office. It was basically just like being in someone else's church (which, I guess it was). The only real problem was, they installed a new thermostat in the building since I was there. I had asked them to turn the air on, but Thursday night (for the rehearsal) it was over 80 degrees in the sanctuary when I arrived. I tried to program the thermostat for Friday but couldn't figure it out. So I asked if someone could set it to 67 for the day of the wedding - it really warms up fast when the room fills with people. Someone had at least turned the air on, but not to 67 and it was hotter than all get-out by the time the wedding started. I was literally dripping sweat every time I would look down. The place was packed to the gills and we even had to set up chairs along the sides. I guess that's just one of those little things that people don't know about, and apparently don't believe me when I try to tell them. Oh well.
At any rate, the wedding went well. It was a little late in starting. It was supposed to begin at 6:30 - and I usually like to have the grandparents being seated at 6:30 to start things off - but people were still just getting there at 6:35, and then they couldn't find a seat. Anyway, I'd say we started around 6:35, and it was around 6:55 when the new couple walked out the aisle. That was a little shorter than I'd planned, but I cut a couple things short because of the heat, and Jane was able to fade out the unity candle song at 1:55 minutes. I think everyone was okay with a short, short ceremony.
Another nice thing about no longer being the pastor there is that we didn't have to stay and clean up and be the last ones to leave. I did put the projector cart back, and the TV monitor that sits in the front row. I was afraid no one would know how to rehook those back up. I'm sure they could have figured it out, but I didn't want to be like that. I have no animosity towards anyone. I would hope they realize that even though I was not happy when I was first told I was being let go, I am not a terrible person. I don't want bad things to happen to the church. So I felt I left with a good conscience.
We did go to the reception. For a little while. We had recently done this brides sister's wedding and we didn't go to her reception because of some of the family members who we thought might be there. We were told they didn't go, so we went to this reception. Well, the people we didn't want to see were there. So we just ate, waited until the wedding party arrived, said our good-byes, and then went on our merry way. All in all I thought everything turned out nice.
I can't believe that my next wedding is Isaac and Ricci's, and it's only 3 weeks away!! Fortunately the remaining 3 weddings I have this year are away from the church. So I guess that's that.