Worship is rarely the end
Punctuation to lives of the endless rotation
Clouds cruising the sky watching us make the next step
Each step is effort
Climbing the mountain of expectations
Realizing God was waiting at the bottom for us all along
“God is with us”
ALL OF US
At the bottom of hearts divine love waits
Quiet and strong, beating
Within a moment fire is kindled
Sparks spread wildfire
And while burning can be dangerous, it can also bring light.
Do we take the chance?
To be able to see God within and without
Without power, without money, without stuff
Fire burns into smoldering embers
Black can still have warmth
40 can feel long
3 rotations even longer
Especially without food
People are hungry, everywhere around us
“TELL THEM THERE IS FOOD!”
A flood of life to overflow
Carrying us to the spark
Resurrection is possible
For example, they have remake really bad movies
Bad movies, make a God without seem pretty Good
A space to be, to think, to live
Life springing forth from a Church?
Churches are more than punctuation
Scurrying each day, like ants they move supplies
Hope, Love, Faith
Into the crevasses of life
Light in the darkness
Black is dark
Smoldering is black
And from it a fire can spring
Lighting up the sky
The Yellowstone Conference of the United Methodist Church will hold its ordination service Friday night. At the service the St. Paul’s UMC choir is singing, Bill Mullette-Bauer is preaching as a retiree, and I will be ordained. My ordination, I hope, is the beginning of a series of ordinations of younger clergy in our conference. In the next 5-10 years over half of the clergy in our conference will retire, leaving big shoes to fill. We are going to need new faces to help lead churches throughout the Yellowstone Conference.
Over a hundred years ago Methodists in Montana were starting colleges, hospitals, and children’s homes. Next year will mark 150 years of Methodism in Helena. With a rich history of helping our communities through living out our faith, what will the next 150 years bring? There are still challenges to face in our community and around the world, and how are we being called to meet that challenge?
I know our faith is still alive and Methodists proved it last month. St. Paul’s and Covenant, in Helena, MT, partnered for the 2014 Church Challenge to benefit Helena Food Share. Together we gathered the support of 15 churches and raised 9,203 pounds of food. We brought in nearly 370% more food than churches brought into Food Share at this time last year. That is a big deal, especially with the need at Food Share increasing.
Where is God calling us to dream big from here? When I imagine inviting young people to become clergy I want them to know they have something to strive for. If we can bring in nearly 5 times as much food just with a little gusto, can we take on the challenges of poverty in our communities? Or perhaps we could help demonstrate new ways of sustainable living through our church network? Or we could tackle one of the many problems of this generation? How would Jesus invite us in to new ways of living in the next 150 years?
At my ordination I will wear my black robe. Black is the robe most clergy wear during lent. It is meant to reflect the ashes of Ash Wednesday and also a time of reflection. I chose to wear this robe because I want to invite us to listen to where God will call us as Methodists. As we listen, we need to be moving to help share the life giving message of Christ. We have stood still long enough. As we call new people into leadership in the church lets provide them with a springboard of God’s call, and missional ways to transform our communities.
God is with us, may she light our path.