I've said it before but it bears repeating, "Thank you for all of your support and prayers."
I have been so blessed by your well wishes as I have re-entered the everyday world of leading Mason United Methodist Church. I am blessed by you. The leadership by our staff and volunteers shown while I was away was awesome!
Someone asked me what was my favorite part of my Leave? That's really hard to answer. It was an experience that encompassed every moment. I know that sounds too foofy, but I mean it. Because of the intentionality of the time there were moments of awe, humility, hope, healing, affirmation, conviction.
I was surprised as to when any of those things in that above list would show up. It might be in a book I was reading, worship, during a movie, a concert, resting, conversation, in the rain, on a plane, driving, visiting a museum, or even on Stone Mountain in Georgia. Did you know God is always present?!
Of course, I did know that, but there is a difference in knowing and experiencing, and then believing it with all your soul. One thing I read said that proclamation (preaching) made space for the awareness of the incarnation. I love that!
Here is what I know for certain that defines my personal passion: I want people to know Jesus not just about Jesus. I desire for people to be changed by the Gospel. What is needed today is less consumer Christianity.
My heart breaks for people who have experienced exclusion. This goes in tandem with longing to create experiences of authentic, honest, and diverse Christian community.
I have pages of notes, thoughts, quotes, ideas. Some organized into action steps. Others are just hanging out until the Spirit says what to do with it.
I promise that my preaching, teaching, living, and leading will incorporate the passions that have become absolute and clear to me. I don't want to waste any time in my life.
Back in 1990 I wrote my personal mission statement. It was this: To connect people with God. I was reminded of that this past month. I think it still fits pretty well. So, I want to remove whatever is a barrier to that work in my life.
Today as I participated in my daily prayer walk through the halls of MUMC's building I was struck (seriously! It just overwhelmed me by surprise) by this scripture from Isaiah where God says, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" I was very aware that sometimes the new thing involves you and me submitting to the growth and changes inside us that God desires to make so we can accept and be made ready for the next God-thought surprise! Alleluia!
Grace and Peace,