This week, I am living the story of too much: Polishing off last minute dissertation edits and sending it off to the library system, completing annoying exit forms and surveys for institutional liability purposes, consulting with a suddenly booming list of people with complex counseling needs, picking up graduation regalia, writing thank–you notes to mentors and colleagues, and celebrieving the closing of a really important chapter of my life. Graduation is Saturday. 6 years of creating a weird and wonderful hybrid professional identity that falls somewhere between counselor, pastor, and ecological activist are coming to a bittersweet close. Honestly, I am kind of relieved to be so busy, because in the moments when I’m not, I’m a little scared and sad to be moving out beyond the relative safety of studenthood.
Wednesday night at dinner and at other little moments throughout this week, you all have helped me remember the importance of “enough.” Cameron has reminded me to say no to people and to ask for help, because I am not good at that. Scott took on book study after I’d already said I’d do it. Jen is organizing things for my graduation fiesta so I don’t have to answer phone calls and try to make things pretty. Mikal spoke up for the importance of leaning into abundance in our lives. Sara sent me home with leftover stuffed bell peppers that made my lunchtime today glorious. Maybe most importantly, when I said that I thought I needed to go home and prepare for the class I’m helping with at Brite next week, the table full of Wednesday eaters piped up with a “Go home and take care of yourself!” sentiment.
It is hard to change the hurting parts of ourselves and the world when we are trying to be and do everything. I wonder sometimes if this is one of the reasons why the idea of grace is so important in the Christian story. This Sunday, I’m hoping for some conversation and ritual space about reaching out and letting go: reaching out to each other with love and honesty, reaching out to the Mystery we call God, and letting go of the different fears and insecurities we have about not being enough. I’m looking forward to being there with you.
Please join us this Sunday, 11am at Kidd Springs Rec Center as we talk about freedom from the fear of not having enough to make up for our fear of not being enough and, instead, rest in the nurturing providence of the kin-dom of God.
Grace and Peace,
Apparently, Mother’s Day is the third most attended church service of the year behind Easter and Christmas. I have never noticed a surge in attendance at CitC, probably because we don’t usually do much for Mother’s Day. This is not an accident. Because we strive to be inclusive of all genders, sexual orientations, and family choices, singling out mothers for special recognition misses the mark. (If you would like to understand more about this choice there are many, many, many people talking about it, which is great.) However, part of including people is celebrating and grieving the wide range of choices and experiences that people have and, because we are a church, framing that in a theological context. The way we choose to do that this year is to celebrate the nurturing, providing aspects of God and the kin-dom of God. This is the Jubilee: nurturing and supporting one another as God nurtures and supports us, living into abundant life for all.
I want to thank everyone at Church in the Cliff who has nurtured me over the last five years. If you asked me five years ago what I would doing now, this is absolutely the last thing I would have said. I couldn’t be happier. It is a joy to be a part of a church that let’s me risk being myself, that celebrates the gifts that I can bring to ministry. The church voted last Sunday to ordain me, an honor that I do not take lightly. Wherever I go and whatever I do, I will carry the beauty and joy and complexity of Church in the Cliff with me. The service will be 11am Sunday, May 19th at Kidd Springs.