I've been an elder for just over a week and have already seen some of the joys of the office. My favorite elder task so far is to hear the testimonies of those who come to us for baptism and membership. Just the few I've heard so far have impressed on me the various ways the Holy Spirit works in peoples' lives to bring them to the Gospel. I think the best place in a hospital is the maternity ward - and it is certainly analogous to this task for the Session. To be there and see the new birth - what a joy! But then, as a father, I also know you have to take the new babies home and spend sleepless nights (and days) caring for them. The analogy extends to this aspect of our work as well.
I also served communion for the first time on Sunday. Until now, I sat in the pews watching the elders at the front take the elements and pass them through the congregation. I was always impressed by them somehow - and was proud when my father served. Now, I'm the one up front - leading and serving. It felt very intimate to be up there on the front row with the other officers, with Wade just a few feet away giving us the invitation and Good News. This was certainly a joy, as I need the Lord's Supper as much as anyone else there. However, once we were given the elements to distribute, I confess I was far more concerned about "messing up" than worshipping. (So what BAD THING would really happen if I passed the plate to the wrong row?) At least I didn't drop them.