Dear Friends with Collars,
To see your faces yesterday was a delight. Knowing you are still engaged in tending to the flock, even though the presentation has been altered is simply wonderful.
As I read some of your chat comments, have listened to your concerns by phone and I've come to understand what the absence of community can look like. Many people choose ministry because they love the Lord and they love people. To share both of these with one another is pure joy. That is the calling of the ordained, to introduce God and person. Then the dance begins. But when the music and the dance change, we don't always know the steps. We have to learn a different movement. So it is with the time in which we now live.
One of my favorite pieces from the
Art of Pastoring by William Martin is "Thought 74."
xiousness about the future
destroys the life of a congregations.
Out of this anxiousness the pastor and people
try to control events.
This is a tremendous waste of energy,
and drains the people of spiritual power.
Events are always changing
and nothing can be grasped.
If a pastor can free himself and his people
from the fear of death,
there is nothing they cannot achieve.
When the familiar disappears our tendency is to become anxious. We are beginning to see this in some of our parishioners and even among ourselves. We want to go back to the familiar because we understood that order. Or so we thought? Covid19 has changed our dance and we are being called to move with the ebbs and flows daily and this can make us feel uneven, inadequate and even frustrated that we are having to rethink the way we have lived for five, ten or 30 years. It's not easy but if we can focus on what we know to be certain then our next steps will be familiar.
A couple of weeks ago Mary Munger reminded us that self-care is so important. She encouraged us to exercise, meditate and get away from the computer screen and do something different than work. I echo her words. Taking care of yourself is important not only for your own sake but for your family's and your parishioners'. They need you healthy, alert and gentle. Be good to yourself so you can be good to others.
God bless you,