This month has been one of those months at church that has been super busy. Three out of four Saturdays have had events, and Sundays have been full too. That alone can be exhausting, as many of us have commiserated. But I was thinking about it today, and the truth is that all of the things we are doing are a big deal. I think that some of our exhaustion is not just because our weekends have been full, but that the things that have been filling our time are emotionally and spiritually significant.
Two weekends ago, our Vestry had our annual retreat. During that time we were exploring our evangelism efforts here in Plainview and imagining how we might reinvent some of our space to welcome visitors. Both think about going out into the community and rearranging our own house raised all sorts of apprehensions and anxieties.
Last weekend, we put the soil in our new Garden of Eatin’ – a Grow to Give garden that will allow us to feed our hungry neighbors this summer. The work was fun, took a physical toll, and brought on a mixture of emotions. Like any new project, this project has brought a whole host of conversation and at times, conflict. So in some ways, seeing things moving was completely refreshing and life-giving. But we still have a ways to go before emotions are completely settled.
Later that afternoon, we held our Annual High Tea. What I loved about the event was that the attendees ranged widely – total strangers to our church, friends of parishioners, and then a good dose of parishioners. Now if only we can be as bold to invite those folks on Sundays as we are to invite them to our tea, we would be heading in the right direction. But thinking about that practice can bring anxiety too.
Finally, this coming weekend, we have two major events. First six of our teens are being confirmed at the Cathedral. Although this comes at the end of months of preparation, I really see this as a beginning for them. They declare on that day that they are ready to take more intentional steps in their journey with God. It is a declaration made without certainty, but faith that God will be with them along the way.
On Sunday, our confirmands will lead us in worship as they serve in various roles. We will conclude that service with a parish wide conversation about our ministry and mission here in Plainview. This is a conversation that parishes throughout the diocese are having. I am excited to see where the conversation goes, but I know that even this conversation will lead to some tough questions and uncomfortable answers.
What makes me happy about all of this is that this is all good stuff. That does not mean all of it is easy or does not make us spiritually or emotionally drained. But if we are not feeling drained, then we are not letting this work really do what it needs to do among us. So as tired as we are, I hope you can hang in there with me. I think God is doing great things among us.