When I began work here at Downham
Market a wise friend told me that after one year I would see a few
changes and sense God at work- years two and three would cause me to
question and to wonder why I had chosen to accept the post here and in
year four I might see the beginnings of something new.
And so with that in mind alongside yesterdays celebrations I bring you Friday 5 Looking back, looking forward..
1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith
Because I served a small church in my first call with no other clergy in the congregation, I had relatively few opportunities for feedback over those four years. I wondered: Did I do that baptism "right?" Did that funeral offer enough sense of the individual and yet a sense of belonging to the community of faith in Jesus Christ? How is my preaching? Can people see me over the pulpit?
Coming from many years in a larger church as layperson and seminarian, I realized that in a different setting, I might have a better sense of how I was doing.
This year began with the gift of preaching in the pulpit of one of my dear RevGalBlogPals and receive her valuable (and thankfully, affirming!) feedback, and it has continued to offer opportunities, including preaching at another RevGal‘s Installation, that encourage and nurture me as I consider what will come next.
2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry?
It’s funny, after several months of dreams that explored new territory, last night I returned in three different dreams to scenes of my youth or of my youthful dreams. I know that isn’t the kind of dream to which Sally refers, but it is striking nevertheless. I’m hoping to discern in the coming months whether Interim Ministry is simply a transition for me, too, or whether it is a calling for the foreseeable future. I like doing it; the past six months have been wonderful. I know I am a restless person and like change, which argues for Interim Ministry. But there is something so beautiful in sinking roots into a faith community, embracing the people and walking with them on the journey, going through the difficulties and losses as well as the joys and celebrations. It’s time to revise my ministerial profile, and I wonder how to express the moment in which I find myself?
3. Money is no object and so you will…..
Ah, I think I gave an answer like this not too long ago, but I’ll give it again. I have three UCC colleagues doing marvelous ministry in City By the Sea, a new church start and an even newer ministry to the homeless. I would love to be making a home for them and for services needed in our downtown community: an accessible and flexible worship space, a big kitchen for meals for those in need, a day care center with particular services to the lower income population. I even have a location in mind, within a few blocks, anyway. I would be happy to do the administrative work that would free my colleagues to do ministry. I’d also like to plug in to the worship life of the community (perhaps alternating services, or doing a midweek service) and be available to do counseling. Hey! That last part surprised me! Maybe I’m getting somewhere!
4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going?
As a profound extrovert, I am deeply grateful for the friends God keeps sending me at those times I’m too sad to turn around and see Her standing there, arms open.
5. How important are your roots?
Considering last night’s dreams, still significant, but not the only thing that matters. My roots would argue against using that feminine pronoun for God, for instance. The trick is to discern what’s essential, isn’t it?