It's been unseasonably warm here since Easter. I keep forgetting that it's just the middle of April, and thinking about getting my shorts out, already. Then we'll get a stiff breeze for a little while, and it will all come back to me. It's not quite the end of May yet. We still have a confirmation retreat for 9th graders, and the day of confirmation, and a few other loose ends to tie up.
It's not quite the end of May yet. Just before Easter, the unofficial news broke out that our talented organist and minister of music (who's not quite been with us for two years) will be leaving us to go to graduate school. At our leadership board meeting this week it became official.
We heard as well last Tuesday that the Senior Pastor here intends to retire at the end of May. His wife, who is the parish secretary, will retire as well.
As you can imagine, this is a time of many questions. One question, the most mundane, has to do with simply getting work done. There will be fewer of us, but of course the work of ministry will not go away. I've taken, just in the last couple of days, to bringing some scratch paper with me everywhere and taking down notes and making lists when I think of something. For example: When will we choose hymns for summer? Who will be leading our Wednesday morning Matins services every week? When should I get the list of all of the shut-ins? And oh yes, I'd better call those couples who are getting married this summer!
However, the most important questions won't be about work, how much there is, who will do it, how it will get done. The most important questions won't have to do with logistics, or schedules, but identity, and purpose. Who are we? What is important to us as a congregation? What do we value? Why are we here?
It's been unseasonably warm here since Easter, but it's only the middle of April. There are a few loose ends to tie up before summer; actually, there are some loose ends to unravel as well as tie up, as we travel through ventures to which we cannot see the ending.
In the midst of the unraveling, I hope that we can come to see and to trust that God's hand is leading us, and guiding us, and trust that we still have words to speak to the world, and hearts to heal; we still have strangers to welcome and children to guide.
What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God?