The end of a full week...

This week has been a full and creative one - and I give thanks to God. My sweetheart has been busting her butt at work - they are remodeling her store - and two weeks into a three week overhaul. So tomorrow, our Sabbath, will be quiet and gentle and we'll stop by to celebrate a dear woman's 90th birthday, too.

In addition to all the regular pastoral stuff - study and prayer, sermon writing and administrative details as well as pre-marital conversations and home visits - three unique things happened. First, I had a serious conversation with a young man about exploring ordained ministry. One of the things I have come to value over my years of doing this gig is that I have been able to journey with 5 different young people in their discernment for ministry. I can't recall who said it to me, but it stuck: if a church isn't inspiring, encouraging and equipping young adults with a hunger for ministry, something is wrong. I don't want to be doctrinaire or judgmental about this, ok? And yet I have come to see how important it is to open some hearts and minds to what the Spirit may be saying. So, we're going to be working on this more this summer and as the year unfolds.

Second, band practice was tons of fun. A new vocalist has joined the fold - our old buddy Eva having headed to Vegas - and she is wonderful with a GREAT ear for harmonies and rhythm. It is exciting to see where her new energy leads us as we start shaping things up for the fall. There is a unique and curious dynamic in a band, you know, that is all about poetry and spiritual support in addition to talent and intuition. Sometimes highly skilled players can come together and the result is mush - or shit - or just a drag. And sometimes modest players who work well together can bring out the best in one another, too. And sometimes when creative folk who fit together discover their groove... it is one of the finest blessings ever to be shared by our Creator.

And third an ever growing circle of friends are making connections: two blogging-buddies from Canada are coming for a visit in early August, a colleague from Arizona is coming here to preach a trial sermon for another local church, two lay-folk from Tucson just made a special stop today on their way to Niagara Falls and two more dear souls will be joining us in September. A colleague from another town took me to lunch yesterday to share some deep thoughts about how we might journey deeper into the Spirit together. We'll be doing a "music and spirituality" workshop in early October for yet another local church. So it feels like things are really coming together. (To be sure, there are always carpers and those who always try to make you feel broken and exhausted - that goes with the territory - but mostly they are a distinct minority.)

Made me think of this little sequence from the music geek documentary, "It Might Get Loud," wherein Jimmy Page talks about - and then plays - the opening riff to "Whole Lotta Love." Dig how both the Edge and Jack White look on in reverence, support and joy - their faces just shine in very unique ways and for very unique reasons.

It is such a sweet, sweet privilege to be able to share love and music and prayer and compassion with those who are open and receptive. It is an honor to study the scriptures and try to discern with this faith community where God's love may be calling us. And on a beautiful Berkshire day like this, it is all worthwhile.

Wendell Berry gets it exactly right in "The Hidden Singer..."

The gods are less
for their love of praise.
Above and below them all
is a spirit that needs
nothing but its own
its health and ours.
It has made all things
by dividing itself.
It will be whole again.
To its joy we come
together—the seer
and the seen, the eater
and the eaten, the lover
and the loved.
In our joining it knows
itself. It is with us then,
not as the gods
whose names crest
in unearthly fire,
but as a little bird
hidden in the leaves
who sings quietly
and waits
and sings


Black Pete said…
And you can bet your Kluson machine heads on the Ric that them two Canadians are itchin' to get down there and see y'all!
RJ said…
I am very excited that you are coming, my man. VERY!

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