Monday, January 28, 2008

Fertile Soil

It's been a pretty remarkable month here at Saint John's.

Think about it. In the last month, we've rightly celebrated Epiphany on January 6, the 12th day of Christmas. That doesn't happen that often. May not matter to you, but for those of us charged with planning worship, it's a gift, believe me.

We've heard a sermon preached by a candidate for ministry preparing to come before the Board of Ministry to be commissioned as a Deacon in The United Methodist Church. And true enough, Renee's gifts and graces are profound additions to the ministry of Saint John's. Matched with that sermon she preached was our annual observance of baptismal remembrance on "Baptism of the Lord" Sunday - an opportunity to reclaim our vows and chart our course aright in the new year.

We've had the extraordinary honor to have had one of the most influential figures in my ministry come to be a part of our worship. To have Bishop Ken Carder among us was itself a gift. In the day and time in which we live, to hear a bishop speak so clearly and prophetically was as a wellspring in an arid land.

To hear an ecclesiology and Christology from the Wesleyan perspective, after its conspicuous absence, made my little Methodist heart skip a beat or two. To have him preside at Table - cool off the charts if you live in my world. You all heard me say of him before he came that he is my Yoda. Those of you who are of the "Star Wars" mythology will know that it's not until the prequel movies that we understood just how ably Yoda could, uh, take care of business, if you know what I mean. . . so it is with Ken - he can get it done.

All of which is to say, and I hope you see this - what is happening on this corner is fertile soil. It is fertile in two notable ways. I've heard from many who have told me that it is this congregation that they feel at home, that they can grow, at last, spiritually. And, this is the place that is becoming an incubator for ministry to be launched from and into the church at large.

That is, we are becoming a "teaching congregation." There are those who seek to be engaged in ministry who desire to be here, if, for no other reason, to get a feel for how to be "church" in an urban setting, and do so unafraid of difference and embrace it instead.

What a remarkable thing - fertile soil - and get ready, church, for what grows!

No comments: