Pride was fun this year. (It’s fun every year.) Thanks to everyone who helped drive, march, organize and celebrate!
From September 29 until October 3, I will be in San Francisco on a Bethany Fellows retreat. The Bethany Fellows is a ministry for pastors within the first four years of their calling, meant to help establish and perpetuate a strong and healthy ministerial identity. It builds community and networks (and safety nets), we tour places that have good practices for their congregations and clergy, and we spend time processing ministry and in spiritual disciplines and practice. Overall, it’s a very neat program, and I am very thankful to be a part of it. The Bethany Fellows meet twice a year in different places throughout the country—I heard once they met in Hawaii, though that can’t possibly be true, can it?—and I am thankful to be able to go and retreat and come back ready for the next round of what God is doing with us and through us here at Midway Hills.
Because it’s a lot. We’re nearing the end of the calendar year, which means stewardship emphases in worship, new Sunday School classes, Alternative Christmas preparations, Thanksgiving potluck and lunches, the annual Pet Blessing, nominating committees, and something new I’d like to try this year—Dream Teams.
The question I ask myself a lot is this: “What would I do if I weren’t broke, tired or scared?” It doesn’t mean I’m broke all of the time, nor always tired, nor inherently fearful. It’s more a way to reject the comforts and calmness of the status quo and see what happens next. Would I write more if I scheduled time to do it? Would I go to England in 2016 if I started saving intentionally for it now? Would I start sharing the visual art I make if I didn’t care what people thought about it? I want to encourage all of us in the next few weeks to ask that question about the ministry and mission of Midway Hills—what would we do if we weren’t broke, tired, or scared, knowing full well that we’re not broke, tired or scared, but instead where we’re at. I guess a better question is, “Where do we need to go, and how do we get there?”
Because I’ve seen amazing things here the last two years. I’ve shared meals with a lot of you, spoken with all of you, and shared in the good news of life and life abundant in Christ with you. You can’t fool me—we’re capable of a lot, and I promise you, we’re called to a lot, too. Let’s do it with passion and integrity and courage and just a little bit of riskiness so we can be That church out there in This world.
There’s much to do, and thankfully, we’re the ones who are called to do it. I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday.