Earlier this week Rev. Lois Wolff and I spent time with the new Pastor Nominating Committee at the Stillwater Church. I want to share with you the story of that night because I so clearly felt that God’s Spirit was moving amongst us in powerful ways:
Lois and I trained their PNC on how to search for their next pastor in today’s denominational landscape. We talked with them about ways to engage appropriately within our various roles, we talked about how to discern leadership competencies, how to “market” your congregation and ways that technology and social media interacts with the search process. The team watched a video beforehand from Jan Edmiston (who was with us at Silver Bay) entitled, “Calling the Pastor you Need, not the Pastor you Want.”
What was most beautiful about the night was our conversation. We started with a devotion reading the story of the Loaves and Fishes from Matthew 14. In the story Jesus tells the disciples to feed the crowd that is gathering around them. The disciples complain that all they have is a few fish and a few loaves of bread, simply not enough – Jesus is asking too much. But as soon as Jesus blesses what they have, the food turns out to be enough – abundance – for everyone. After reading scripture we discussed some of the ways we had seen such extravagant abundance at play in our lives and also about the moments we will have in the search process when we fall into despair like the disciples and cry out to God, “There isn’t enough!” The stories that were shared that night were powerful.
And when are the moments when you experience Resurrection – the in-breaking of God’s Spirit into your life and all of a sudden there is enough – more than you expected?
The most holy moment of our time with Stillwater was that together we shared stories of Resurrection. Together we talked about the ups and downs of living out our lives as disciples of Jesus and together we laughed. Joy surrounded us!
My prayer for you in this summer season is that you will take time to pause and notice all of the moments of Resurrection – little, tiny, small and grandiose! When they happen pause for prayer and praise to the God of Love who continues to offer us not just want we want but what we need. When they happen remember your baptism – and give thanks!
Resurrection is all around us! It is God’s gift that gives us all we need for this journey we share together.