Thursday, July 05, 2007
A Litany of Thanksgiving
On July 15, 2007 the Bishop will confirm or receive six new members into our beautiful little church. For a place with an average Sunday attendance of about 15, six is a lot. They are a wonderful group. I met with the "confirmation class" tonight. They are two of the greatest guys you would ever want to know. C came to us on a long journey. Mental illness, abuse, a sense of being different and alone in the world have left him feeling ostracized and isolated at times. But he tells me has felt welcomed here. He says has felt that this is a place where he might be not only welcomed as a member, but as a minister to others. Blessed be God.
N too has a story to tell. Raised in dual traditions, he tells of being scared to attend church as a child because of the hellfire with which he was threatened. He also tells of his uncle, a faithful minister for many years, who, falsely accused of child abuse, with his wife, turned on the car one day in the garage and died of shame. He too comes to us because he feels that he is welcome here, all that he is, all that he brings. Blessed be God.
The rest of the newcomers group also tell us they are so happy to be with us and remind us of all the things that we are doing right and doing well. It is good to be reminded of this now and again. We thank God for new voices and new life among us. Blessed be God.
And there are other joys that remind me that God is good. My spiritual director is celebrating today. Off in her home church she is rejoicing as she celebrates her anniversary of ordained ministry of word and sacrament. I am blessed to know her, as are so many. Blessed be God.
There exists in this funny strange world of cyberspace a supportive community of women (and pals) who minister to one another, using technology in marvelous ways to preach the Gospel, witnessing to one another, holding one another up and bearing one another's burdens, sharing wisdom, tears and laughter. Blessed be God.
Through pain and rants, and even tantrums I know myself to be held and loved and kept in the arms of the One who will not let me go. Blessed be God.