It’s just about six weeks ago that I wrote to you and borrowed Bruce Epperly’s phrase “living a holy adventure”, expressing hope and excitement that our journeys had been linked and that we were embarking on a “holy adventure” together.
Today, as we approach Thanksgiving weekend, I write to express gratitude for the unfolding of our “holy adventure” so far. I give thanks for the ways that you have all welcomed me with such openness and warmth. I give thanks for our worship together, and for the ways we have navigated the change in the pattern of our Sunday morning worship, moving from a morning of both Zoom and in-person worship, to one service at 10 a.m. I give thanks that we were able to respond to volunteer fatigue with this change, and I am grateful for the understanding of those for whom Zoom was meeting a need on a Sunday morning. Part of living a “holy adventure” is living with eyes, ears, hearts and minds open to opportunities to move with God already at work, and we will continue to do that with all things, including being open to opportunities to connect on Zoom. I give thanks for the ways we are getting to know one another in community, in meetings, and one-on-one as our
“holy adventure” continues.
Last Sunday, I preached about “and”, suggesting that it is one of the most important words we have as human beings. Life is full of “ands”: joy and sorrow, praise and lament, faith and doubt, celebration and conflict. “And” frees us from striving for either/or and helps us to move between these things. We are both ourselves and an interconnected collective. We live both inner and outer lives. We are each uniquely and wonderfully made, and we are inextricably linked in the great collective of creation. “And” helps us to be in the midst of difference and diversity. I give thanks for “and”!
It is “and” that makes community – all of you, and me – and community includes both “being”and “doing”. We’re going to stay after the 10 a.m. service next Sunday (October 16th) for a Volunteer Fair. We will celebrate the dedicated group of volunteers who are already “doing” on a Sunday morning: taking on the roles and responsibilities that combine to make our Sunday morning worship what it is. Heartfelt thanks to them! We also need to do some rebuilding and expanding of our volunteer groups. I invite you to do some discerning about what you are “doing” at Ascension. Please do plan to stay after church next week. There will be lots of space for questions, and for “demystifying” what you’ll be getting into if the Spirit moves you to take on more “doing” on a Sunday morning.
This Thanksgiving, I give thanks that Ascension is a place where we can meet one another and feel all the “ands”, together. I give thanks that it is a place where we tend to both our inner and our outer lives, balancing being and doing. I give thanks that God is with us and we are with each other in the “ands”, on this “holy adventure”.
Blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving, and always,