Thursday, January 29, 2009


Tedious as church business gatherings can be, they are extraordinary vessels. For instance:
  • I did some knitting. Not only did this effort advance the project on which I worked (a scarf, which will be given to Ken's employee, who is also the new owner of my old ski-jacket), but it got me knitting again. A two-fer.
  • I saw people I hadn't seen in weeks, months, and since last year. I remembered their names, and they knew mine--assurance in the midst of mid-life mental lapses! Sometimes these encounters are more like grazes, but often they are gifts. Last year I spent considerable time with one friend who died three months later. I thank God regularly for the gift of that time with her who I miss.
  • I got inspired. In addition to being renewed by Bishop Jenkins' words there is a resurrection story happening within our own diocese, just down the road from us. Bishop Jenkins also talked about times of crisis and challenge doubling as opportunity, and this is just such a story marked by grace upon grace. I'll tell that another time.
  • I prayed. This is not as obvious as it sounds. When you're the one leading prayer the opportunity to pray in the pew comes infrequently. I seize it with relish.
  • We adjusted the budget to save someone's job. A few years ago my own job was saved by a similar measure. Time to pay it back (or forward).
  • There was time, especially over meals, to get better acquainted with our delegates. Deepening relationships is always a good thing.

A wise chaplain once suggested to me that the Episcopal tradition was a necessary vessel in my life. The structure of the liturgy freed my spirit to grow, and the pattern of corporate life and institutional governance offered grounding for my creativity. She was right.

Vessels contain and transport, a sort of paradox that reminds me that there is more balance in the world around me than I often recognize, and opportunity when I allow myself to be engaged. I chose the image above because its eventual shape is yet to be determined--it can become all manner of things, and serve any number of purposes. Just like a church meeting. Just like us.

1 comment:

Jayne said...

Glad you accomplished so much. I can imagine it is a rare gift to just be able to be a part of the larger body and praying. And, glad you are knitting again. Good for you! I love the vessel analogy. Have a beautiful day. :c)

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