Amidst such horrific tragedy this week in Boston, we are called to be light bearers. This past week, I have been inspired on numerous occasions where I have seen bringing forth the light of Christ:
Last week I spent a significant amount of time with our clergy. We worshiped together, we learned together, we ate and shared fellowship together. We are blessed in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota (ECMN) to have an incredible cadre of highly competent clergy. Collectively, the depth of gifts and experience, both inside and outside the Church, is very impressive. And when the collection of individual clergy comes together — it is truly inspiring!
This last Saturday, I began my day with the leadership from the East Metro Mission Area (EMMA). Leaving them in the good hands of the Team of Missioners, I set out on a day-long journey to witness young people from EMMA using their gifts to meet the world’s needs. At five different grocery stores, young folks — and many helpful adults — braved the elements (and one slightly grumpy store manager) to collect close to 4,000 pounds of food and over $600 for local food shelves. After a full day, the young people gathered all together for Bible study, to debrief, for games, and a celebratory dinner. From there I dashed over to the St. Paul Teens Encounter Christ for a dinner and dance — you guessed it — it was all very inspiring!
On Sunday, I had the privilege of worshiping with the good folks of St. Mary’s in St. Paul, along with other fellow EMMA folks. After three unique and Spirit-filled worship services that included receptions and reaffirmations, we came together for good eats and over an hour of conversation about how God’s mission is being engaged in EMMA as well as what future possibilities the Spirit may be leading us to. Wow! What an inspiring day!
Monday was the last of the EMMA gatherings and it was specifically for those with responsibilities for missional management in their faith communities. Wardens, treasurers, and clergy came to explore with members of the Team of Missioners and myself how our faith communities can live into God’s call to be good stewards by creating sustainable structures. The commitment level of these leaders was — well, of course — inspiring!
Every stop, every place, every encounter in ECMN continues to inspire me and fill me with much Easter joy — truly, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.