It’s cool this morning, and overcast. I can’t tell if the sky is clouded by ash from the fire in Bend or the storm that promises to relieve the immediate fire danger. I welcome the coolness of the day, and pray that there will be rain to ease the immediate danger. But at the same time, I’ve really loved the summer heat. I’m not ready for summer to be over yet.
This week has been busy and distracting with meetings to meet the immediate needs of the community about food distribution, organizing a strategy for finding a music director, the Commission on Children and Families, hymn selection for September worship. But the week has also included meetings that have pumped me up and helped me regather my ‘pastor soul.’ This week was the meeting of my pastor colleagues to share our lives in ministry with each other. This group has been my rock as I negotiate the “New-Pastor” role. They have encouraged me and validated my gifts, they have been cautious for me when I was clueless, and they have been supportive of me when I was negotiating tricky issues in my community. I have valued their collective wisdom and their deep commitment to the proclamation of the Gospel and the health of Christian church and it’s people. I recently added a Spiritual Director to my support system. She asks the deeply probing questions that get to the place where I see God at work in my heart and the work I do that connects to the hearts of the people in my care as their pastor. She helps me find words for the deepest desires of my vocation and the mystery of how God answers our longings to be God’s people at work to change the world, person by person, step by step.
Being the extravert I am, I have to talk or write my heart out. I need language to process my thoughts and prayers. I thank God for those people who help me do that work every month by asking, by encouraging, by praying with me and for me and my work as pastor.
Jesus tells us that we will see him in those we visit and feed and care for. I know that’s true and I have experienced Jesus there. However, I also have seen Jesus in those people who walk with me in the mysteries of vocation, holding me up, encouraging me as I go forward, seeing Jesus at work in the work I share with a community of God’s faithful.