Thursday, December 27, 2007

An Auld Lang Syne Friday Five


Singing Owl writes: "It is hard to believe, but 2007 is about to be history, and this is our last Friday Five of the year.With that in mind, share five memorable moments of 2007. These can be happy or sad, profound or silly, good or bad but things that you will remember. Bonus points for telling us of a "God sighting"-- a moment when the light came through the darkness, a word was spoken, a song sung, laughter rang out, a sermon spoke to you in a new way--whatever you choose, but a moment in 2007 when you sensed Emmanuel, God with us. Or more particularly, you."

This could be hard. It's been a pretty spectacular year. My first full year as a priest, and a blogger with the RevGals! Both of these things along with many other blessings have created a kind of amazing synergy resulting in some significant changes in the way I see myself and move through the world. But, hey, let's give it a whirl!

1. Easter. I baptized my first baby. She was so beautiful. All sleep and angel sweetness. There was such joy in welcoming her to our community. But before I could even get my vestments off, I was summoned to the ER where one of my clients was in a serious mental health crisis. Worlds collided, the heights of joy and depths of sorrow all in one day. And God was with us in the midst of both on that Easter day.

2. The Yurt Adventures. My trips to the Yurt were definitely memorable. Each a unique jewel of time and solitude, each with its own gifts of wisdom, each just what I needed at the time. God is so tangibly present in that place.

3. The first day of school and my encounter with M, the challenging student. She set off a growth spurt for me that sent me reeling a bit but it all ended with some really important lessons the teacher needed to learn in her own life-school. And of course the last day of school brought us full circle as we were able to get closure together. She too was a blessing...another God sighting.

4. And no review of this year could be complete without talking about L, and my visits to the jail. A chance meeting...as if there is such a thing in this God filled life! I met him the day I "tagged along" for a little orientation on how the ministerial folks do the Sunday afternoon services at the jail. L was one of two young men who came that day. He struck me with his earnestness about Scripture and a kind of sweet innocence. Strange things to find in the county jail! When I returned a couple weeks later to do my own service he was my sole congregant. We had a long talk that day, and I asked him if he'd like me to come see him again...he said yes and we have been at it ever since...across two counties now! He knows you all pray for him, he smiles when I mention all my "pastor friends on the Internet." God has been so present in all of our conversations. We laugh and cry together and the air fairly dances with the presence of the Spirit.

5. There is a tie for #5...Lessons and Carols or my little Vespers of Gratitude and Release with my SD. One so big and publicly celebratory, the other so personal and intimate and transformational. And yet both speak to me so clearly of who God is in my life, especially in this year. It has been a year of finding my voice and place in public ministry, of celebrating that in all sorts of sparkling and wonderful ways. But it has also been a year of going deeper, of allowing others access to a more vulnerable side of me and in a strange sort of way "allowing" God access to that side of me too, of letting go, making space, being quiet, being more authentic. The Vespers celebrated and allowed healing for that.

I don't think I could possibly pick a single moment for that bonus. Somehow, whether it was an ordination gift, someone has been praying for me especially, or I am just the recipient of pure grace, this year has been a series of moments, strung like beads of gift upon gift. The sense of God present has been most palpable. It truly takes my breath away how often it does happen that I KNOW that God is truly with me. And that IS a bonus. Another bonus and gift in my life this year have been the friendships that have come from this ring. I think it's so apt that whomever it was that created these internet linkups decided to call them "rings" because we are a circle, I feel encircled, surrounded by the warmth and witness and friendship and support of you all. I know well from my professional life the power of reflection in the presence of compassionate witness. What has become so clear in this year is that it works in this little corner of cyberspace as well. And for that I am grateful. A blessed New Year to all.

15 comments:

"PS" (a.k.a. purple) said...

As I read through your memorable moments, they were laced with the gratitude. Wonderful moments...God moments...Spirit moments.

Mary Beth said...

Delighted that you are in this circle. Happy New Year!

revabi said...

What a wonderful year you have had. I am grateful that you include us in your circle of praying Pastors. Don't let him forget that. And it sounds like a wonderful year as a new Priest. may you continue to be blessed

Mrs. M said...

You have had such a rich year. Your Easter is overwhelming to think about, and there's so much other stuff too.

Mother Laura said...

Thank you for sharing these gifts and for sharing the gift that you are in the blog with us year round.

Sally said...

I am so pleased to be in the circle of praying pastors- thank you for following God from baptisms to hospitals to jail...

revhipchick said...

beautiful post!

blessings for 2008

Gannet Girl said...

What amazing encounters you have had this year ~

Rev SS said...

Catching my breath! You've had an amazing year, and articulate it so beautifully! I'm very thankful for this "ring" which makes it possible to share the journey with you. Prayers for L continue ... and for a blessed new year for you.

Jan said...

You help me so much to view life with more gratitude. I like recalling your first baptism AND the time at the yurt! So nice to be a "part" of these with you. Glad you're sharing with the Revgals.

Barbara B. said...

yes, loved hearing about the yurt and L.

Singing Owl said...

WONDERFUL! :-) Thank you so much for sharing!

mompriest said...

kate, you are so able to express the grace of God's presence...a gift to me in these days...blessings for 2008.

Diane said...

wonderful moments, and it has been a pleasure sharing them on your blog!

karlajean said...

what a beautiful play..and a a wondrous and beautiful tapestry of experience as a priest....thank you for sharing...
and blessings to you this 2008!