Never in My Wildest Dreams
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.”
Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
These words from our sacred story have been surfacing for me as a guide to work my way through. Particularly the passage from Philippians. Anxiety is heightened for all of us but today I want to talk, not of anxiety, but of the blessings that I see. Now, some of you might be thinking “There she goes again with her rose coloured glasses!” And you would be right. I like my glasses and when I use them to view the world and the experiences that come my way there are so many things to be thankful for.
Never in My Wildest Dreams
How many times have I said from the pulpit or in meetings that we have to learn to do church differently? In my wildest dreams I did not imagine this differently. However what I am discovering in this journey is that there are many ways for us to stay connected and so many things to learn along the way. Despite the difficulties and the uncertainties, there are many insights, wonderful moments of connection and a whole lot of learning!
I waded into the wild world of on-line church and did a mini service to be sent out over the airwaves. This meant that I had to adjust the way I do things and even the process I use to get to the final destination. Being in front of a camera is a little nerve wrecking, let me tell you! But having faced the fear and placing trust in Spirit, it was amazing. The best parts were the conversations that I have had since Sunday via email and Facebook and on the phone as people shared how much this experience meant to them.
I decided a week ago that I would start phoning the members of our faith family beginning with the A’s and just working through the directory. This too has been such a blessing. Let me first share with you that I really don’t like the phone and certainly not as a tool for pastoral visitation. In my ministry I rarely call ahead even for a visit, I just show up. So calling people, some who I know and others who I don’t, was a step into anxiety land again. But I faced my fears and placed it all into Divine love and I have been blessed. I have had conversations with people I have not had the opportunity to share with before; there have been some opening of doors and
what I have heard over and over again is that ‘this call has meant a lot’.
(And I have only made it to the C’s!)
Technical Illiteracy No Longer an Option
With the changing of our church structure and the closing of Presbytery it has been a little isolating for ministry personnel. We lost the place where we connected and we have not successfully figured out what can replace it. However, as we find ourselves in the midst of this crisis we have been meeting via Zoom. We can hear one another and see one another in a virtual reality and for the first time in over a year I am feeling a small connection with my colleagues. For this I am truly thankful.
I am learning new things about Youtube and Facebook and online meetings and how to make things work. In this reality being technically illiterate is no longer something I can take pride in! I am so thankful for those who know what they are doing and are willing to share their knowledge. Collaboration has taken on a whole new meaning and with our team in a number of different locations it certainly is an adventure. And I am so thankful for the technology itself. What we are able to do today would not have been possible even 10 or 15 years ago.
My prayer is that wherever you find yourself you are able to find those moments that make you smile, increase your wonder and fill your soul. Perhaps what we learn in this time will indeed help us to move into the future better equipped and empowered to embrace new ways of being. And always remember “
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”