I’m sitting at Bush airport waiting to head home from the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza. This event and those who serve in children, youth, and family ministry are an incredible gift to our church. I always look forward to this time of renewal, connection, and learning. This year, I didn’t realize how much I needed this event until I got here.
But this event is a place for hearts to be healed. One of my colleagues and friends tweeted out these words the other day; “So often the default in ministry is ‘be good and do well’ when really it should be about ‘being well and doing good.” These words resonated with me and are still sitting with me.
Ministry is hard work and can also cause pain and grief. Last May, I didn’t know what my future looked like. In the midst of that liminal space, I was buoyed up by the prayers of this community. It was this community who I reached out to for advice and for listening ears. It is this community who loved (and continues to love) me fully for who God created me to be. These are my people!
I am five months into a new call, feeling hopeful and blessed. Yet there are days that grief sneaks in rather unexpectedly. During the healing service the other day, I found myself asking for blessings over transitions. Once again, tears began streaming down my face. Holy cleansing tears.
In addition, the Holy Spirit is always incredibly evident in this place. I wrote my hope; a hope that I’ve been praying for many years on my piece of seed paper and buried it in the packing peanuts. My friend and roommate who was sitting next to me, divinely pulls out that very hope. An incredible moment captured in time and space.
You, my friends are loved and are incredible gifts to our church. Thank you E Team for all you do to remind us to be well and do good; to remind us that what we do matters. This event is a huge gift to me and to all of us!
Again this community is what held me up on the hard days. This community continually reminds me of how beloved I am; how beloved we all are. This community has helped heal me! I didn’t realize how much I needed this until I got here. Today I can honestly say I’m feeling more whole again!
And feeling whole again, these words from Ben Kyle’s song are echoing in my heart and soul: “Fear not, watch and pray, Walk in the light of Gods highway.” A highway that is scattered to and fro but lit by this community who commits to always praying for one another; a community that continually shows up for one another. Thanks be to God!