Friday, July 3, 2009
Today is Anam Cara's One year Anniversary . . . although I have not been as disciplined as I had hoped in blogging nor has the blog had much, if any traffic, it has served, and is serving, its purpose well . . . it is a place where I can share my thoughts as I continue the journey of spiritual growth.
In thinking over the past year, it has been an amazing time of spiritual growth for me as well as for the smaller membership church which I partner with . . . although we have not seen the numerical growth for which we have been praying . . . in fact the opposite is happening as members continue to leave this area as they grow older so to avoid nasty evacuations and to be closer to their families . . . but we are now getting visitors who are sticking . . . and more than this we have people who are really going deeper and further in their spiritual lives . . . it is revealed in how we are living with one another in more healthy ways.
I give thanks to God for God's claim on my life and God calling me to partner with this group of pilgrims living on the banks of the Mighty River . . . may our lives together bring You honor and glory as we live in the freedom that we have been given through Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Over at St. Casserole's Blog she reminds us that she has celebrated 31 years as an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament . . . in the work I am doing with our transformational consultant I am exploring the concept of spiritual mentoring. I am reading a wonderful book . . . not the one that he is having the small group I am in read . . . I am drawn to it in a way that I am not to the one he is having us read . . . as I savor the pages, I recall all the women in my life who have been spiritual mentors and spiritual friends (anam caras) to me . . . I take delight and joy in counting St. Casserole among these.
Fresh out of seminary she was called as the Associate Pastor to the church I attended while going to college. St. Casserole was the first female minister I had met . . . I had heard tales, but had never actually met one of these strange and mysterious creatures. I didn't know her well back then, but how I loved seeing her in action . . . her first baptism in that church (was it her first? probably) . . . how different it was than the ones I had seen before . . . what was it? . . . I now recognize it as her abounding grace and love for God's children and the joy she experiences as she touches others for and is touched by God in such simple ways.
It was through St. Casserole my own call to ordained ministry was confirmed . . . I had first heard God's call when I was six, but didn't know to what . . . God issued the call again that Sunday when I saw St. Casserole baptize that baby and bring her into the congregation. It took close to two decades to get to seminary as my pastor didn't think God was calling me to be a MOWS . . . funny, how he divorced his wife after she accepted God's call to ordained ministry.
Years later another female MOWS helped reframe this experience for me . . . God had other things for me to learn. This month I begin my 11th year of ordained ministry.
I give thanks and praise to all those women who paved the way . . . perhaps, one day we will understand what it means to see like God does . . . There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3: 28 (NIV)