Showing posts from January, 2012

Spirit Words

Together with pastors and churches in transition everywhere, I pray for the people of St. John's and the people of Zion and all people beloved by those who serve them, those who say goodbye and say hello.

God of courage, you are brave in working through people like us. You call neighbors and strangers together despite our shortcomings and differences, inviting us to worship and serve for the sake of something much bigger than ourselves. You pull us off our phones and laptops and garmins and things that fool us into thinking life is only about what we want. You give us words to speak in unison and they make us stronger. You give us liturgy that gets inside our bodies, becoming unforgettable, incarnational and transformational. Your are tricky and we are grateful. Lord, in your mercy...

God of grace, you have called us together as the body of Christ so our lives can get tangled up with you and tangled up with each other. You are the reason I see other people. You are the reason I ca…

It's the little things.

I warned you that I would soon post nostalgic musings about my life at St. John's. Well, here it is.

Today was my second to last Sunday there. Next weekend I'll be in Annandale with a bunch of teenagers on our winter youth retreat (God help me) and then my last Sunday is January 22. Yikes.

But today was just the kind of near-goodbye I was hoping for.

I needed someone to speak words of welcome to our new members on behalf of everyone in the pews during worship and the first person I asked agreed joyfully. Our new members showed up early, excited to join and I was able to greet them in the narthex. I remembered to put my lunch in the fridge before worship and ran into two of my favorite women in the restroom. We talked about my upcoming transition and one mentioned her great-grand baby was going to be in worship this morning. They were thinking about having her baptized sometime soon. How perfect on Baptism of Our Lord Sunday!

A second grader helped her mother prepare communion …

New Year, New Gig

I've been thinking about St. John's a lot this fall and winter. I don't know many first call Associate Pastors who truly love where they are after three and a half years. Most of my friends don't get to do a little bit of everything. Parishioners treat them like interns or junior pastors. Dynamics with senior staff can be complex and very competitive.
I had the unique opportunity to come to St. John's knowing I'd only be here for three to four years. I have a good relationship with my colleague. I like the people I serve and, while we haven't moved mountains or doubled in size, there have been many miracles together. (But more about those miracles another time. There will be a nostalgic post or two before the end of the month!)
Since I have always known that 2012 would likely bring a farewell, I started looking for a second call pretty sure about a few wonderful things: I really love being a pastor. Both internship and first call have given me a well rounded…