This week I've been focused on community--communities of love and support. Communities like ours at Live at Five. Last Sunday, clergy sat with the Vestry as they talked about what they were looking for in a Priest in Charge of St. Michael's and about the fine candidates whom they had interviewed. What struck me about that conversation was how lovingly vestry members supported one another and how graciously they listened both to one another and to the whispers of the Spirit present in the room. It felt like a safe place. A place where one could risk and grow.
But this was also a week for remembering. Forty years ago this week I started teaching. My first real job. It was so scarry! The only way I made it through those first few years of teaching was with the help of my friends--the women who started with me and the wonderful mentors we had. That teaching faculty, much like Live at Five, was an inter-generational community that helped one another grow and survive. We there for one another when pets died, when children were born, when parents and grandparents passed. We were there for one another when teaching got hard. And we were there for one another at weddings, child births, and in the little joys that come when you work with kids.
Years ago I heard a wise preacher tell the story of his barber. The barber was not a church-goer. He saw no need for church and wondered why others bothered with it. So asked the preacher, "Why do you go to church?" The preacher replied, "Because a community makes it easier to grow closer to God and to grow closer to the person God created me to be." I think that's true for all of us. Communities of faith like Live at Five (and like the Vestry too) are really schools of love. Over the years we learn to love one another and to be loved into being more fully the people God creates us to be.
That's true for clergy too. Soon we will have a new Priest in Charge at St. Michael's. Not much will change at Live at Five. However, we will be welcoming that new priest into our community just as Live at Five has welcomed Father Brian, Father Daniel, Randy, Pat, Kristin and me. I am confident that Live at Five will continue to love us all into being more fully the priests God created us to be.
In gratitude for all of you,
PS: REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR CAMERA/I-PHONE TO CHURCH SO WE CAN HAVE PLENTY OF PICTURES ON OUR NEW WEB PATE!!