It was. And still has a bit to go before its over.
There was so much grief and sadness wrapped in with excitement and anticipation. The adventure of new things mixed in with the loss of the old ways and customary things.
Final – well not "final" is the true sense of the word but conclusive enough for now – goodbyes were said to the Friesen’s, Randall, Lauralea and Micah, as we all sort of hung around, not really wanting to be the ones to leave first. Maybe not so many tears were shed as just a sense of deep aching in the heart. These last ten years have been so good.
Beginnings took place as well. Marc begins his new adventure as our part time office /administrator/speaker on some Sunday’s person while we wait for a new pastor. He is going to do well. I appreciated what he said this morning. I think that means he is going to let God use him to take us along the next steps of the path. So this will be a good adventure with him and God.
I began teaching the youth class today as well. What a great bunch of youth. I am going to have a good time with them. We are exploring Spiritual Pathways together and the truth is that I will probably learn at least as much from them as I teach. So, this part is my little corner on the adventure too – as well as speaking about once a month.
In some ways today seemed a bit like spring – like the mother and father birds giving us the final nudge off the edge of the comfy nest, watching us spread our tiny little wings as we flap them furiously and begin flight on our own. The nice part is that there seems to be this updraft that is carrying us along. Our wings may be way too small for the job but we are helped along by a force way bigger than we are.
So, this is it. We are off and flying
solo with a lot of help. And it is, I believe, going to be good.
It felt a bit weird having a church council meeting – with no pastor Randall. There was a void.
It felt weird to have him come in and fill us in on this weeks unexpected events that he is faithfully hanging around for and then have him leave and let us get on with our meeting.
It felt weird to launch out on our own into the discussions about the upcoming schedule, setting up a search committee for a new pastor, etc.
It sort of brings it home clearly that this church does not belong to the pastor, that we are the church and it belongs to God.
So here we go, launching off into the unknown, needing to discern so many things for the future.
A couple of us still get together for early morning prayer at the church – Gatecrashers. It is early and some days hard to get there but I am always so glad when I do.
This morning was no different.
Good to be in the presence of God with a friend talking about the needs of our church, our friends, our families and bringing it all to God at the start of the day.
We began reading the book The Real Mary by Scott McKnight. I think it will be a good book to read and discuss as a group of women. Sometimes our discussion wanders a ways from the original topic so we touched on everything from the humanity of Jesus to the Trinity. It was good to look back at the passages in Luke and Matthew and think about what the real Mary has to tell us about faith and trust. We have lots to learn from her and our challenges are not so big as hers must have been.
My challenge is to act as something of a leader. Sometimes I feel as if we go on wild goose chases. However, that must be a sign that we are free enough to ask questions – another topic we touched on – that God gave us minds that ask questions so that we should not be afraid to explore. Questions keep us from being sucked into taking another’s word as truth without understanding.
Now I am tired and tomorrow begins another busy week.
Good night all.
Well, Randall says this last meeting with him was subdued. Not sure how to say good byes with a lot of joyful feelings. We still laughed but it is a bit hard to do that while swallowing the lump that creeps up to the back of the throat from that place just behind the sternum where it sits too often these days.
It is hard to come to the end of a really good relationship even though we have to trust that God knows what he is doing in this place. Still, it has been ten years and how do we wrap us ten years and come to some sense of closure in a couple of months. It is just hard work, this working through of saying goodbyes and starting to move into a place of new beginnings again.
I guess there can be no new beginnings unless we are willing to risk leaving a previous place of relative security. And maybe that is partly what God does to us. He has good things in store for our future. We just don’t know yet what they are going to look like – although we see some interesting ways that God is moving in our midst.
Today has been a full day. I just got back a bit ago from coffee with the group of us women who get together once a week or so to read and discuss a book – and talk. Maybe the talking is the most significant part of why we meet. This year we are going to begin with reading The Real Mary by Scott McKnight. That should bring us up to about Christmas. Sort of fitting.
We have a good time together. This year we’ll again invite other women to join us. We’ve purposefully kept the group fairly close and small so that we can learn to know and trust each other. If the group gets too big we may have to rethink the format of meeting. We need this sort of a group. This morning I was talking to the husband of one of the women and he commented that we women have a good thing going on – that he finds it hard to read scripture himself but that now his wife does and enjoys it. He was sort of lamenting the lack of this type of group for men – also being realistic and saying that the kind of sharing and support we women have is hard to do for men. And that is true. No less necessary though.
Another man in the congregation shared that he had just lost his father. Women could easily hug him and express their sympathy but the men hang back. I think they need some of this kind of support – need to learn that it is OK and good. But there are some unseen sort of barriers that keep men from being able to do this. Another fellow mentioned this, and said he thinks the men need to support each other more openly.
At least the need is becoming more evident. Maybe something will move in that sector.
For myself – it has been a full day. Preaching a sermon is good work and rewarding but it leaves me feeling as if I have done some physical work. Sort of tired and reflective and in many ways satisfied. Hard to describe. It takes some emotional energy or something and at the same time leaves me feeling good.
It also evokes some inner questions and it is a bit hard to articulate but it makes me wonder where I am going with all of this. I feel torn between pushing ahead on a course of action that I think might be right for me and holding back, being patient so that I discern the right action to take. This is a hard place to sit in – this waiting place.
The answer proposed by Darrel L. Guder of Princeton Theological Seminary, among others, is that the Christian church in Canada should return to its roots and become a "missional "church. That is, the church should strike out in a different direction; it should reject the cultural forms that carry questionable assumptions about what the church is, what its public role should be and what its voice should sound like and become a "sent" community. The church should stop mimicking the surrounding culture and become an alternative community, with a different set of beliefs, values and behaviours. Ministers would no longer engage in marketing; churches would no longer place primary emphasis on programs to serve members. The traditional ways of evaluating "successful churches"—bigger buildings, more people, bigger budgets, larger ministerial staff, new and more programs to serve members—would be rejected.
This tugs at something in me.
Filed under church, Quotes