Church Life, Matthew, The Inner Landscape

A Sower Went Out to Sow…

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: "Listen! A sower went out to sow."
(Matthew 13:1-9, NRSV)

Thus begins a favorite parable (you'll find the rest here), a story ready to spin your head around completely as you wonder whether you are the soil or the sower or even the weeds or the birds. You can get somewhere from any perspective, or so it seems to me.

This week I will be away taking three days of
Continuing Education time to attend a conference given by the Interim Ministry
Network. I'm serving a church committed to undertaking what the Network would
call an "intentional interim" period, an opportunity to
look within and without, to assess the church's health as the body of Christ as well as its place in the community, and in doing so to have a better idea of where God
might be leading in the future.

It's no small thing to look honestly at
ourselves, as individuals or as a church family. Those of us who have ever been
in therapy know that we may come to a realization that feels as true as anything
we've ever known only to have those around us say, "Well, I just don't see it
that way!" or "I don't remember that!" It's a delicate balance, bringing our truth into
the present without hurting others who may not see things the way we do. Yet we
need to tell the truth, with love, even when it may hurt, and even when it may
not be received as fully as we would hope.

I hope I'll come back with new and better tools for helping bring in the harvest, and I'm praying it will be abundant.

(I think I'll be online while I'm away; hope so, anyway.)

7 thoughts on “A Sower Went Out to Sow…”

  1. I have a sister who does the not-as-childish equivalent of sticking her fingers in her ears and singing “lalalalalala” whenever the subject of our father comes up. She has no interest in my “truth” and I cannot fathom hers.
    I hope you get a big old John Deere to help with the harvest.

  2. Thanks, Kathy.
    I wonder, when I consider writing autobiographical material, how it would impact the people I’ve known, the people I’ve come from, because although no one in my life was a terrible person (well mostly not, anyway), people’s choices and propensities influenced me. How could they not? They are part of my story, or my version of them is, anyway. I guess memoirists need to be ruthless.

  3. I hope you enjoy the three days and come back inspired and refereshed 🙂

  4. Praying it will be an abundant time for you as well Songbird. Hugs to you.

  5. It is amazing how differently people see the same event. Our own individual truth often makes it difficult to allow for another perspective but often that is how we learn the most.
    I hope you have a wonderful three days.

  6. Your program sounds really interesting. My church is out of the most recent interim period and almost three years into the tenure of our current priest, but we have just entered into a year of discernment in which we want to “look within and without,” as you say. I hope if you come across any commonly available good resources for this, you’ll share them. (And of course I hope you get a lot out of this time yourself!)

  7. Hi Songbird… I hope you have a wonderful time! A few years ago I took phase I of Interim training offered by Presbyterians. I found it very helpful – but my denomination (UM) has yet to fully embrace the whole idea of “interim pastors.” It happens mostly by default and with little intentionality.
    I have appreciated you stopping by at my blog – I am very new at all this… and a little hesitant to put more of me out there on the http://www... very scary…
    I love checking in on your space and appreciate your thoughtfulness and deep reflection and connection with daily life.

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