Home Forums Noticings… 200527 – An Anniversary

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    May 27, 2020

    This Friday is a momentous day for me. On Friday May 29th I will celebrate the 15th anniversary of my ordination. Fifteen years is not a lot in comparison to some. I have great friends who are currently celebrating 20 and 30 years of ministry leadership this month. (Ordinations and Commissionings generally happen in late May.) This particular anniversary is significant for me not because of the number but because of what it represents. You see, before I was a minister I had a career as a high school music teacher. I did that job for – you guessed it – 15 years. That means as of this Friday I will officially have been a minister for as long as I was a music teacher – and as of Saturday, longer. So I’ve been reflecting on that, and the shift in my career, and the evolution of my professional identity.

    One reason I’m noticing this is because my wife is starting to ponder retiring when she becomes eligible this fall. It’s reminded me that had I stayed teaching all this time I would be retired by now! I fondly remember teaching, and on the occasional day I miss it, but my identity is firmly rooted in ministry now and I can’t imagine ‘hanging up the skates’. I cannot even begin to fathom what that would be like. In so many ways I feel like, at fifteen years in, I’m in my prime (as it were), well, at least theologically. Changing careers has meant that I will need to work another ten or so years before I can retire. I’m good with that. I serve at the pleasure of the Church.

    Had you told me at any time during the first decade of my teaching career that in 2020 I’d be writing about being out of teaching as long as I was in it I would not have believed you. I didn’t see any of this coming. It wasn’t exactly my idea. A couple of weeks ago I preached that the Holy Spirit is shy. Well, that Holy Spirit is also sly! It blows in and out and swirls around and niggles at you like a little pebble in your shoe until you can’t ignore it anymore. And then when you stop, and get quiet enough, and pay attention to it, it finally has your permission to do its thing – whatever that may be. It wiggles its way into your awareness and consciousness through music, and beauty, and loving relationships, and prayer, and the next thing you know your life is turned upside down and your excuses for ignoring the path before you fade away. At least that’s how it was for me, about 15 years ago.

    This weekend we celebrate Pentecost Sunday – the day the Holy Spirit bubbled up through Jesus’ disciples and propelled them into the world on a renewed and inspired path. It’s risky saying yes to the Spirit, and there’s a cost. But it’s worth it. So. Worth. It.
    So happy Pentecost everybody. And happy anniversary to me! And may the Holy Spirit blow in and through your life in wondrous ways! (And when it does…notice.)

    Ways To Keep Connected

    The Porch Online ~ Mondays @ 10:30 AM – This weekly gathering looks at the upcoming Sunday’s readings and will give participants a chance to ask questions and learn more background about the texts and get thinking about what they might hear the following Sunday. Join The Porch via Zoom.

    Worship Wednesday ~ Wednesdays @ 7:15 PM – Join us for Worship Wednesday on YouTube. 15 minutes of music and prayer. All are invited!

    Coffee and Conversation ~ Thursdays @ 9:30 AM – Join us for coffee and conversation, each Thursday at 9:30 am. Social, drop in, no agenda. We will gather via Zoom.

    Online Worship ~ Sundays @ 10:30 AM  

    To tune in, go to YouTube and search for “faithunitedchurch” – or click the YouTube link on our webpage. You may also click this link, and it will redirect you to our YouTube page.

    Rev. Larry will lead worship on Sunday mornings at our usual 10:30 am time, with music support, and with minimal tech support to allow for streaming. All previous Sunday worship services are available on-demand, and you can watch any time!

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