When I got home from Church Council last night, my mind was abuzz and wouldn’t settle down. I was just so FULL from my day: a day that started at Diesel Café with about 10 of you, all ages and stages, having a profound, intense conversation about terrorism, fear, anger, faith, partisan politics, fundamentalist religion, where our world is going and how we as progressive Christians are called to move in it.
After that: staff meetings, including the planning of a robust but calming/nourishing Advent season of worship themed Hush! Get ready for, in the next few weeks: a Hanging of the Greens Service, midweek Advent vespers, and Greg’s first Cantata on December 20 (you are invited to sing in it!).
Later that evening at Council, I was witness to the next flowering of First Church. There are so many initiatives moving forward, including the next stage of our exterior renovation, a new community minister cohort, first-ever young adult retreat, chatter about solar panels, signing on to a Climate Change Action group, and the visioning process for your life together beyond my tenure at First Church, a vision process which includes many new leaders.
There is certainly lots of saltiness in my leavetaking (it will be hard to say goodbye!) but it’s made so much sweeter knowing you are on the MOVE—not waiting for cues or energy from your next senior minister, but guided by a strong, unerring, joyful interior pull: a holy pull.
One reason First Church is such a strong and capable community is because you share so unstintingly of yourselves and your gifts. Michael Molla, deacon and chair of our music committee, is one such. He is going to share his gifts while preaching about gifts this Sunday, Thanksgiving Sunday! From time to time, starting now and throughout the interim, a fellow Firstie layperson will be preaching—because no matter how cheerful and convicted your pastoral staff is about the future—hearing the confidence and call to action from a peer is oh-so-powerful.
I’ll be at church too, praying with you! Rev. Jeff will be teaching our confirmands. Jonah C is our newbie liturgist, and Jenna N will deliver the stewardship testimony! Please bring your pledge cards back to church to be blessed with the offering.
After worship: since you’ll be TOTALLY inspired by Michael, Jonah and Jenna’s words, you’ll just want to race pell-mell downstairs to coffee hour where team leaders from all of our church ministries will be stationed ready to woo you, or at least gently chat with you about all the opportunities you have to become a deeper part of the life and future of First Church.
Also after worship: my daughter Carmen and I are running a short workshop on how to pray with your kids at home (or anywhere)—since parents, you are your children’s primary spiritual educator.
Bless you on your way, today,