This past Monday and Tuesday, I co-led a clergy retreat at Bellwether Farm. It was an amazing time
The purpose of the retreat was to remind and rekindle a sense of call. I was reminded of my call. I’m on a mission to re-humanize the church. The church is not the structure, the budget, the building (those all help), but the church is and has always been the people. We are the church, the body of Christ in the world. And who exactly is the church? Those who come to the Lord’s Table to talk about and try to model Jesus. Jesus, the host of our table, who sets a place for us, anoints us, and our cup overflows. Jesus the pioneer and perfector of this faith of ours who told us, “These things I can do, you can do; and greater than these.”
I wondered, why don’t I do this with my congregation? Why don’t we head out to a rustic/modern, Ikea/Farmhouse place with amazing food and spend time together? Oh yeah…. Pandemic.
And also…. We’ve been doing this for going on five years together.
Everything we do together is an act of co-creation. The Encounter Bible study is a mini-retreat to remind ourselves of our own sense of self, our sacred stories, and our neighbor. We had one amazing session three weeks ago and then snow and this retreat have kept us from gathering again. This class is an act of co-creation: creating a space to listen and speak and hold one another in Christian care. We’ve had other classes like it in the past.
Our Sunday morning worship services are acts of co-creation. Sure there’s a liturgy, yet we bring the energy to make those words come alive. To sing the songs. To look at our lives and be changed after these experiences.
Our work with Garfield Food Program and the work of our Mission Team is an act of creating a little more of heaven here on earth with the giving of our time, talent, and treasure.
The creation of the annual budget is an act of co-creation of our common life together. These are the hopes and dreams for the year and here’s what we need to accomplish these goals. The stewardship and finance teams help keep us on track and be good stewards of what we hold in common.
Property and Grounds creates the space which we gather together. They maintain the building and improve it to better our life together. Our Caring Team fills the space with love.
Each team, and each one of us is gifted by God. Showing up is 90% of the job. The other 10% is figuring out what God is calling us to do together. I have faith that whatever lies ahead in this new year, we already have everything we need. It might not be in the right place, but we have all we need as God has planted those seeds a long time ago.
Together, we get to co-create and it is the great call and honor of my life to be your pastor to help in whatever way I can. We got this, church.
All praise, glory, and honor to our Creator, our Teacher, and the Spirit that constantly inspires us, One God forever and ever. Amen.