At the end of the program year Missioner retreat in June, I invited . . . okay, maybe ‘encouraged’ . . . all right, challenged . . . the Missioners to collectively log 1000 miles by our beginning of the program retreat at the end of August. The miles could be from running, walking, swimming, canoeing or any other form of movement. This was not a completion but a collected team effort, so the information would be collected anonymously.
I am pleased to report your Team of Missioners logged in over 1200 miles! There were lots of two- and three-mile increments. There were also a significant number of double digits. My motivation in inviting the Missioners to this challenge was simply to encourage mind, body and soul health — and to continue to build team collaboration.
This last weekend, as witnessed by the Facebook photos, I had the pleasure of being a part of the Annual Cabbage Smack Down at Christ Church, Austin. Frankly, it was a great time and a privilege to be a part of such a well-oiled machine. Talk about collaboration! There were to my best estimate about six different jobs. Some people did the same task the entire time; others moved around to new tasks as the need arose. There was no “crew boss.” Rather, a team of people happily working together towards a common goal.
One of my favorite poems is by Marge Piercy entitled, “To Be of Use.” Here is a portion of it:
I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart, who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience, who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward, who do what has to be done, again and again.
It is a blessing to go to work every day with a Team of Missioners who roll up their sleeves and do whatever it takes to assist our faith communities in getting the resources they need. And it is truly blessing, every day, to travel around the Episcopal Church in Minnesota and witness so many faithful from our faith communities willing to dig deep, together, to do whatever it takes to meet the world’s needs.