Surrounded by a cloud of witnesses

Therefore, since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses…

These words from the twelfth chapter of Hebrews set the stage for my annual sojourn to the mountains of Western North Carolina last week. Gathering with close to 150 youth and young adults we explored who made up the “cloud of witnesses” in our lives, how had they encouraged us, and whom potentially could we serve as one for others.

After returning home late on Friday night I was off and running on Saturday morning.   I began my next journey with an acute awareness of how important the “cloud of witnesses” is in our lives.

The celebration of the life and ministry of Deacon David Garwood saw many who were greatly mentored by him. At the Episcopal Asian Ministry gathering the presence and importance of elders was very prevalent. The Ordination and commissioning of the ministry team for Ely/Tower bought together many who had accompanied those being affirmed in their calling. And finally at Spirit of the Wilderness in Grand Marais, this vibrant emerging faith community thrives as a multigenerational family for each other.

It is truly a blessing to be surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses” constantly encouraging us to be the people God is calling us to be!