The Holy Spirit finds ready kindling in the bellies of pastors.
My partner is a pastor. I am one too.
Last night Cooper offered a mini retreat at his church. Twenty some people came out for an evening of faith sharing. He got home after ten, set the alarm to get up at six and now he is unloading food from a truck for their church’s monthly food distribution.
On this day I will meet with a couple to plan their wedding and talk about their hearts. I’ll follow that with a hospital visit and phone calling, come home and write a sermon and then attend a dinner for our confirmation students and their parents and mentors.
Tomorrow we at RUMC will be in the presence of five amazing youth as they speak for themselves their intention to live in the grace of God in the way of Jesus. At our second service we will all savor the power of our discipleship, and then it is off to a party and then and then and then we will motor off to our place of regrouping: the cabin.
It is a varied and dense thing, this art called ministry. It fascinates and calls me yet.
I’m preparing to spend time with new clergy in a retreat setting next month. The stated topic is “margins”. How do we as clergy maintain margins in this thing that is living our vocation? How do we give and give and give knowing that we must also receive receive receive? How do we balance the exquisite juggle that is parish ministry with the needful time spent apart from it?
Sometimes the belly fire falters. Like all others whose work is woven into their bones, clergy wonder if we can muster the energy and hope that keeps us setting alarms and dreaming programs. We wonder if the world is just too busy to sit open before the immensity of possibility and grace.
And then we encounter eyes that light up and puddle, hearts that hunger, and transformation that invites and the spark that felt falterish gets lit anew.
Mostly I thank God for seeking my partnership in the stirring of hope.
In a world tangled and seemingly bent upon savaging, I am part of a movement that proclaims the power of holy and human love.
For today, that is enough.