Image from: Fox in Charge of the Hen House: Agency Analytics

“Just then some Pharisees came up and said, “Run for your life! Herod’s on the hunt. He’s out to kill you!” Jesus said, “Tell that fox that I’ve no time for him right now. Today and tomorrow I’m busy clearing out the demons and healing the sick; the third day I’m wrapping things up. Besides, it’s not proper for a prophet to come to a bad end outside Jerusalem. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killer of prophets, abuser of the messengers of God! How often I’ve longed to gather your children, gather your children like a hen, Her brood safe under her wings—but you refused and turned away! And now it’s too late: You won’t see me again until the day you say,  ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of God.’”  -Luke 13: 31-35

What is chasing you this week?
What is hunting you down?
What is on your tail?

What is chasing our Presbytery this week?
What is hunting us down?
What is on our tail?

The work and ministry of transformation is very difficult.  It requires sacrifice, changes we’d rather not make.  It means we have to not just imagine, but live into the truth that everything is up for grabs, that change is all around us, and that the norms we used to guide our path in the past no longer work in our fast-paced, changing world.  Transformation is re-imaging, and re-framing our worldview (isn’t that what Jesus is trying to get the disciples to do?)

For many of us, this can can feel like something is chasing us, hunting us down or on our tail. It can feel that way because change can feel like a threat, like everything is out of control–and therefore, full of danger, because it is an unknown.

Danielle Shroyer offers some great advice for the time we are in, a time of great change, what feels like great danger to some, but is also full of great opportunity for discovering the infinite ways that God can initiate a New Creation:

Scale across

Build across communities, don’t try to micromanage, trust the group.  Start local.  If something doesn’t work, move on to the next opportunity and don’t dwell in the past.

Transformation is Play

Our culture drives us to perfection: knowing it all, having all the right answers.  What if we delighted in the mystery of play?  What would happen to ministry then?

Start Anywhere.  Follow Everywhere.

Don’t worry or obsess, just bloom where you are planted.  That’s why God put you there in the first place!  

Forgo efficiency.  Focus on resilience.  

No change will be permanent, it might not even last 6 months, or even a year!  Focus instead on creating a culture of resiliency, to thrive in choppy waters of change.  Be nimble enough to jump onto the next spot that God is calling you.

Jesus reminds us in Luke that “foxes” are everywhere but that God’s greatest desire is to gather us up like a Mother Hen, safe and under her wings.

Let us never forget that even though we are engaged in transformational work as a Presbytery and as a community that we are not alone. God is with us. And even when things feel or seem so very different, God is the same and also beckoning us to follow into the next journey of faith we are called into.
Blessings to you and the ministry you keep in this second week of Lent…

About Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo

Shannan grew up between the Jersey Shore and Philadelphia and have also lived at various points in Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey and upstate New York. Internationally, I have lived in Scotland, Greece and Colombia. My family is transnational, my husband is an immigrant and we divide our time between the United States and Colombia. You can learn more about Shannan at: https://srvoconsulting.com

The purpose of the Albany Presbytery Blog is to share information, tell stories, and promote the mission and ministry of the presbytery, synod and beyond. While the breadth of this medium is intentionally broad, it is not a platform for opinion pieces related to business coming before the presbytery unless designed as part of an initiative to provide a diversity of viewpoints at the direction of the presbytery. Exceptions to this policy may be brought to the presbytery officers who will determine appropriateness of submissions.