Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Such a wondrous ministry

Tonight was the monthly meeting of the Middlesex Area Cluster Ministry's Council. We had a presentation Marc-Yves Regis 1 about his remarkable ministry of holding a camp for 150 kids in Haiti and the Dominican Republic each summer for five summers. He is mostly funded by Episcopal churches but would accept money from anyone! Check out www.camphispaniola.org and marc@camphispaniola.org.  Marc was born and raised in Haiti but came to the US as an adolescent and is a professional photographer.

But what I really want to ponder is these three little rural churches--Emmanuel, St. James and St. Andrew's.

I'm trying to remember how long I've been their interim missioner, but, if you've read much of this blog you know I am awash in linear time. Maybe three years? Let's let it be that.

And I am an interim, which means there are time limits on my time with them. And I am, after all, 67 on Maundy Thursday and though I think I have all my faculties, that's just what I think....

So, in June we're going to begin the process that leads to 'what comes next'...like when there is a part-time missioner and not an 'interim'.

These three churches are so different, but one way they're not different is that they are all wondrous and remarkable centers of spirituality and faith. Each of them in a different way.

Emmanuel is, perhaps, the most 'traditional' Episcopal Church of the three. Highly educated, mostly affluent, lawyers and doctors and IT folks and  judges and such. But with a boat load of children...a youngish group on the whole. And profoundly committed to their community.

St. James is a middle class, hard working bundle of contradictions. Everyone has an opinion about everything and the interchanges are heart-felt, perilous and full of life. They do stuff you can't imagine they could do.

St. Andrew's is like a 'family' in the best sense. And they are, many of them, tied by blood in complicated ways. They don't recognize or imagine how wondrous they are. They feel like they are shrinking and fading away. Yet this year they have a 250th anniversary celebration that churches 10 times their size couldn't have pulled off.

It is so amazing to me to be with these astonishing people and serve them and love them.

It is time to look to the future. It is time to dream dreams and ponder possibilities. I look forward to that journey with them.

And I am so thankful to God that I was led to this place in this time to be with these astonishing people.

I only wish that they could see themselves as I see them--starlight and ashes, powerful. and limited, full of Promise, full of Wonder, full of Possibility....

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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.