Monday, February 22, 2010

Letting go....

Do you remember Sting's song that goes something like, "If you love somebody....let them go...."

Well, I don't remember the words exactly but I know what he means. Love can sometimes be confining and disabling. You must love only those who are free to love by having an option to walk away. Something like that.

I spent a while in the church today just bathing myself in the beauty of it all. I love this space and I must, some 79 days or so (which is what Bill told me, our evening sexton, who is apparently keeping track) do. {For an English major that was a crazy way to write a it goes.}

I must 'let go', but not yet. For now I will cling with crazy enthusiasm to every precious moment of my time here. Letting go is something I'll think about later. I will, I know. But for now, it is the last thing in my mind.

I've asked the bishop elect, who I've know for decades, to come visit us one day before he is Bishop and I am gone. I hope to show him what a paradigm for urban ministry St. John's is and how vital it is for him to do what he can do to nurture and pastor this place through the long process of having a new Rector.

St. John's is remarkable and, in many ways, not repeated around the church. The parish exists, in a way, to do 'outreach'--which, I might say, is why the 'church' exists. And St. John's really does it. I should have done more to impress people about how important St. John's is to the city--both people in the larger church and in the city. But I didn't. I simply enjoyed and reveled in how astonishingly this parish has 'been church' in a way that matters.

My only fear in leaving--besides the fear of how well I can 'let go' and move on--is that my leaving might change the fabric and purpose of the parish. We--St. John's--have, like most urban churches, a great financial problem. However, what we DO and if we continue to DO that is more important than any other concern.

St. John's, I've often said, 'would have to be invented' if it didn't exist.

The easier and more productive way of proceeding, after I let go, would be to make sure it just keeps doing what it does and does it even better. That's why I invited Ian to visit--he's coming in early April--and why I pray those who have been with me on this journey for the last 20 years will realize the journey has just begun....

Letting go is hard, harder than I imagined....

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.