I have a lot on my mind today, which isn’t unusual. What is unusual is that I’m sitting in front of the computer and writing about it. So…
Thing on my mind #1:
Transitions stink. I’m still feeling out-of-pocket in the move from CC to CtK. There are so many facets to this feeling, and I’m not sure there are very many people who can completely get it. I’m not at all doubting the call or myself – I know this is the place and time for this service to the Lord… no doubts. Just as I knew that B+ and I would serve together for the Kingdom that first day we met in the Cathedral (the last convention there, seems like a millenium ago), I knew that I’d someday be part of the CtK ministry. I have experiences and abilities that compliment other ministries there, and it’s a position I can grow in. Not too many possibilities for that which are 1. in this general area (which meets my family needs) and 2. in the EC (which, though a troubled denomination – which one isn’t?? – is the one to which the Lord has called me over and over again to serve in truth). All that to say… no doubts spiritually, professionally, personally.
However, I’m having a hard time with what I can only describe as grief at the loss of a specific, at-hand, daily contact-type group of young people to disciple. That dynamic has been such a part of my life and calling for so long that the change has left a great big stinkin’ gap in my world. I know that there will be contact, investment made in young people… but it’s not the same to see them for a weekend or less every-so-often as it is to see them several times a week with conversations in between. Pouring my life into young people has been my life, and I miss the interaction, the contact, the specificity of church-level ministry. There are lots of kids out there… even kids “under my responsibility” with no local youth ministry and what we’ll do for them is practically what they’ll get (though it wouldn’t be true at all to say that’s all they’ll get). However, they’re spread out over a huge chunk of geography that’s 300 miles north-south and 100ish miles east-west. That’s a lotta spread out! I’m wrestling through the philosophical challenges of event ministry as primary ministry… I need to get out of the box on this but I’m not there yet. So many obstacles… distance, money are the practical ones, but there are spiritual ones as well; like does relience on this type of ministry create shallow growth? Does it create a wrong perception of church community? Do these kids get real discipleship elsewhere if there’s no one dedicated to communicating the Gospel to them in ways and words they understand? Don’t get me wrong! The priests and parents do their very best, and I’m so grateful for those who invest in the kids of their church! The sad reality is, there are a lot of churches with few intentional investments in ministry to kids. I pray for God to raise up people to love kids in every parish and their surrounding neighborhoods. I want to invest in those people as well… pass along what I’ve learned, what’s out there, be a resource. In time… patience is a characteristic of God that I’m not so gifted in at times like this.
Thing on my mind #2 is what’s going on at the EC’s General Convention. I really don’t know what else to say except it’s painful to watch people talk past one another, twist issues and agendas and flaunt autonomy as if it were a God-given right. God is unity, community and love… and so much more. But having just spent the last few weeks studying and thinking through the applicable characteristics of the Holy Trinity in order to craft the Youth Rally around them, I have to say that the contrast between my ponderings on the Triune God and my observations from afar of the GC are in stark contrast with one another. If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, reading a while over on T19 will give you a sense of what I’m feeling. Lord, raise up a witness that can be heard and understood at the heart level by all who are giving input and making decisions. Lord, I’m afraid that the only one remaining that can do that is you! Send your Holy Spirit, Sovreign God, to transform the mess we’ve made! Jesus, your love has indeed covered the multitude of our sins; pull us out of the mire into which we’ve waded and restore us to your service once again. I praise you for your wisdom, and I trust you as my Lord and Savior no matter what happens; your Kingdom come, your will be done in the Church on earth. Make us more like you in your perfect unity, community and love.
Thing on my mind #3… eh… that’s enough for now. If you read this far… thanks! Comments are always welcome!