I have to wonder if it is the experience of every new pastor to have at least one situation come up within the first couple weeks that (1) is common enough that other pastors have dealt with something similar but that (2) is uncommon enough that it isn't covered by what an average person normally thinks of when considering parish ministry. My gut instinct tells me that this happens to a good number of green pastors - or maybe I just don't want to be one of the isolated few.
So I spent a good part of the afternoon in the office, mentally and spiritually preparing myself - mostly trying to assure myself that I looked (and felt) pastorly, that I was there to listen and ask questions, and that soon, it'd be over and I could go home to continue working on my sermon for Sunday (which is still, at this hour, very much in process). I also chatted with the copier repairman, who is a very friendly fellow and helped acquaint me to the heavy-duty-more-copier-than-we-need copy machine (it's very, very nice).
So the appointed time rolled around, the copy machine man gone, and...nothing. No one. I waited. Still, no one drove into the parking lot. I don't think anyone even drove by the church on the side streets while I waited in the church office, checking Facebook every two or three minutes to occupy my time.
The end of the story? I went home, frustrated that I spent all this time preparing for the meeting while I could have been writing my sermon while I was in the office. But, also glad to have meet the copier man, who gave some tips on people to meet in the area. And also glad I spent some time getting things together for this meeting; I'm sure it will prove to be very useful somewhere down the line.
And I'm sure there'll be something unexpected to deal with next week.