Are you prepared to make this covenant…
Today was busy in an exciting kind of way. This morning, I had the chance to meet with two couples who are considering having their children baptised. We spent about two hours exploring the history of baptism, their understandings of the reasons for the sacrament, and the promises that they would be making to their children, to the congregation and to God. It was really wonderful to see them plan how they intended to “teach their child what it means to be part of the family and household of God through Christ’s love”. For some of them, its meant a re-connection to faith community… and to exploring their own beliefs.
The afternoon was also pretty jam-packed. Two weddings… the first a bilingual wedding (french/english) for a really neat couple. His family is english United Church, while her’s is french Roman Catholic. So I had the joy of creating a liturgy that spoke to both styles… in both languages. It was fun! However, as I did my preparation this morning, I realized that I haven’t spoken any french in the past five years. I found myself wandering around the church saying things like, “La grace de notre Seigneur… hmmm… la grawwwwce de… hmmm…”. The family told me they were able to understand though. (Merci, bon Dieu!!)
The second wedding was just as nice, but in a different way. The groom has a seven year old son from a previous relationship. He was the ringbearer and wanted a chance to say something during the service. He had written a beautiful piece of prose/poetry that told his dad and Sonya that he loved them, he was glad they were getting married, and he wanted to help any way he could. Seven years old. Cool.
Tonight, I get to head out to the 25th Wedding Anniversary celebration for my aunt and uncle who live in Stratford, Ontario. It will be great to get together with much of my extended family. We don’t get the chance to do that very often.
I hope I’ll be awake tomorrow!’, ‘, 1, 0);
INSERT INTO `wp_posts` VALUES (81868932, 3, ‘2002-09-20 09:17:02’, ‘The week goes on… and on… and…
The United Church of Canada has a statement of faith that was first written… oh… about 35 years ago. The last three lines are, “In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us, we are not alone. Thanks be to God!”
When I was doing my theological studies (lo, these 9+ years ago), there were moments of extreme frustration. Like many theologs, I couldn’t understand why we had to read all these dead theologians… why we had to do theory of X… why we had to… (fill in the blank). I wanted to be doing ministry. (Looking back at the last nine years of ordered ministry, I can’t believe how much of that training has come into play. Well over 80%, I’m sure.)
But, in those moments when I wasn’t sure if I was going to get my assignments done, plus the work on my field placement, plus find any time to sleep, I found myself saying, “In life, in theological college; in life beyond theological college; God is with us; we are not alone. Thanks be to God!.” There were moments where that statement carried me through to the next assignment.
I’m not sure what statement it is that carries me through at this point in my life. Sometimes its a wordless cry – “AAAAAUGH!”. Sometimes its heading into the sanctuary and singing through the hymnbook. Sometimes its the words of the daily office.
I know God is with me. I know God is with this group of people. But… I’m not sure we’re going in the same direction any more. There are lots of wonderful things happening. But there’s a sense of malaise – a sense that we’re not going anywhere – that I’ve spent four years trying to dig through.
People are willing for me to take on a new project (like the nexus)… but trying to help them to recognize (and live out) their gifts, while recognizing the limitations, has been like pulling a large rock uphill.
Three steps forward… two point eight steps back.