Pastor’s Corner (1/9/2020)
As many of you may know, I recently became a Benedictine Oblate. It is an invitation to deepen the spiritual life by following the Rule of St. Benedict. As a part of this spiritual journey I’m learning a lot about Benedict and his Rule. There are 3 foundational elements to the Rule that I think are applicable to all of us seeking to deepen our spiritual lives; they are: stability, conversion, and obedience. Our Handbook for Benedictine Oblates tells us:
Conversion is at the root of it all. It is a promise to keep trying, an explicit commitment to trust God enough to keep turning toward God and away from anything that would make us ashamed of the Gospel. In many ways, then, conversion of heart is a rejection of living in the past. It is a willingness to let things go, to let the future happen, to keep responding to God’s abiding faithfulness to us.
These words really spoke to me, personally and in relation to my ministry here at FCC. Personally, I yearn for stability, conversion, and obedience. I think these qualities are particularly relevant in our life together here at FCC. As we move into a new year and new decade, we are invited to nurture a sense of stability. Having just celebrated our 150th anniversary, we also celebrated the stability of being a coherent faith community here in Lincoln. While our location has changed a few times, the congregation has been a stable presence in the downtown area.
As I begin my 4th year as pastor, I am also aware of our movement into a more stable and settled relationship. The honeymoon is over. We know each other better, foibles and all. As we grow together we may find ourselves challenging one another as we move into a new portion of our relationship. Stability enables us to grow and change but remain constant in our relationship with one another. We do not always have to agree, however, to remain steadfast in this relationship. We are able to do this because we have a stable relationship with God as our foundation. Stability does not mean stagnation. We will continue to grow and change, and our foundation of faith will enable us to move forward. As we move into 2020, we will be looking at the ways in which God is calling us to grow and perhaps even change. I am constantly pondering the continued call of God on my life. I am doing this as a Benedictine Oblate and as a participant in the Pastoral Leadership Revitalization Program. As pastor, I will be inviting the congregation into periods of reflection as well. We’ll begin this process with a Leadership Retreat on Saturday January 25. We’ll also be setting up a process to help one another discover, or rediscover, the spiritual gifts that we all possess. There will be a variety of ways in which we’ll be invited into a process of reflection and growth. I hope you’ll join in and discover God’s call on your life and on this congregation.
In my next Pastor’s Corner I’ll talk more about conversion and obedience. May a sense of God’s abiding love and presence guide us all as we move into the year 2020.
In peace and love,