shout out!

I wove my way out of church tonight.

There was a fourth step training going on.  There was a band practice and an Adult Council meeting and piano lessons and connecting and church was doing what it is meant to do: hold people as they unfold.

Our church is alive for so many reasons.  One of them is because we have an amazing staff.

We’re in the blessed season of asbestos abatement and new boiler(s) installation and new pipes and summer program launching and community carnival hosting and each of these things is midwifed by the best staff a church could hope to call their own.

Our staff encounter all manner of things in their work.  They handle walk-ins and myriad requests.  They strategize and equip and pray and laugh and field grumblings and all of this they do knowing that at any given moment the things they had planned to do could get sidelined by what might come through the door or over the phone.

To a person they are committed and generous gifts.

It’s good to work with people you like.  It’s even better to team up with deep souled folk who lend heart and grit to Richfield United Methodist Church in order for grace to shine.

Oh, we are blessed.

 

new year

On this last day of 2011, it’s good to think back and imagine forward.

This past year rings with a lovely soul hum.

My core relationships with partner and children have deepened and been freed.  My guy turned 60 this past week with a house full of friends from decades back and being a part of celebrating the relationships that make for life was gift.  My children are all residents of Minneapolis.  Last night two of three did swing-throughs, celebrating full refrigerators and lives.  To be able to share life casually is stunning gift.

The church I am part of tending has stretched and grown.  We trust each other more and most powerfully, we are opening to the wash of grace.  During the past year we rededicated our pipe organ, refurbished our sanctuary, prayed plenty and worshipped more.  We are a people celebrating transformation.

Personally, the decision to eat a vegan diet has changed my relationship with my own body.  The energy I feel is amazing, and the sense of reverence for the fuel that motors my flesh through the day is deep.  It isn’t all that hard.  The gifting is immense.  And, the implications for the health of the planet are real.

Socially, it feels like the world is waking up.  We are realizing the shattering that happens when the disparity between the rich and the poor widens.  People are speaking up and naming injustice and this is good.  Hopefully the movement of Jesus,  grounded on the core teachings of care for all of God’s people, will step up and speak out.

Our state is facing a wrenching watershed.  On the ballot this coming fall is an amendment seeking to ban marriage between people of the same sex.  The money and effort that will be thrown into this melee breaks my heart.  With a world literally starving due to a lack of generosity of heart and resources, monies spent to barricade love seems obscene.  But we will witness and fight and dear God, defeat this travesty of legislative bullying.

The United Methodist church will meet for General Conference this spring and once again seek to open the doors to grace for all of God’s children.  Currently we do not ordain “self avowed practicing homosexuals” and we do not allow our clergy to officiate at same sex blessings or marriages.  It is heart ache.  It is embarrassing. It needs to change, this policy that condemns love lived between holy creations.  I pray that the Holy Spirit will unfetter the clenched hearts that keep our movement bound.

Looking into 2012 I pray for a growing sense of communal grace.  It won’t come without the courage to look at what is and decide what we can do to live the world into healing.

There is so much good.  We are good.  Sharing that goodness in order that all might be blessed seems a good way to live into transformation.

Happy new year indeed.