29 years ago today I was in Sackville. I was here for the Annual Meeting of Maritime
Conference, along with members of my family, because on the 26th of May, tomorrow, I would be ordained to the Ministry of Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care.
I remember well some moments of that day and others are just a blur. I remember Mom and Dad stayed at the Marshlands. I remember being nervous and almost overwhelmed with a burden of responsibility. Yes, I remember the joy and celebration but I also remember feeling inadequate, thinking to myself, ‘I’m not ready for this.’ And in so many ways that is still so true!
I’m not ready for this. I still feel that way, in most every pastoral encounter and when I step behind the pulpit each Sunday. And I feel it ever more so these past few months – trying to manage technology and assist us in being community in the midst of a pandemic and the resulting fallout, the likes of which we have never seen before.
Tomorrow looks different today. There is much that is unknown and much that we are uncertain about.
Yesterday, as is my practice I listened to the Onbeing podcast and found a few kernels of wisdom shared by Jacqueline Novogratz particularly meaningful (you can listen to the entire episode here):
“Whatever you aim to do, whatever problem you hope to address, remember to accompany those who are struggling, those who are left out, who lack the capabilities needed to solve their own problems. We are each other’s destiny.”
“…for anyone who’s accompanying someone in a real way, there are times when that love takes every ounce of courage and perseverance that you have in your body, and those are also the times when you like yourself the best.”
“I want future generations to look back on us and say, ‘Look how hard they tried,’ not ‘Look at how blind they were.”
I guess that’s my hope for my ministry as I look back on 28 years… ‘Look how hard he tried…’ I’m trying my best – just like the rest of you – may we continue to support and encourage one another that we might nurture life and sustain hope in those we encounter each day.
Tomorrow morning I invite you to join me in a Zoom Check In from 10AM to 11:30AM. To join you need to have Zoom installed on your device and you can simply click on this link. If you have trouble the Meeting ID is 487 114 0142 and the Password is SPCconnect. If you do not have a computer or device you can call in on your phone: 1 647 558 0588. If folk find this a helpful experience we may try and do it on a regular basis.
(which looks more hopeful because of the community we share)
Today I am in the office all day, in meetings and conversations and working on reflections for the Summer Series. Tomorrow I have three meetings scheduled including the Check In from 10AM – 11:30AM.
Wednesday again is a series of Zoom meetings beginning at 9AM and finishing up with the meeting of SUC Executive at 6:30PM. On Thursday afternoon I’ll meet with Carolyn, Jennie and Edward and will record two, possibly four of our summer services.
Friday and Saturday will be days off (as will Sunday).
Sunday at 8AM (or thereabouts) the Pentecost Sunday service as created by the ministry personnel of some of the churches of the Greater Moncton area will be available for your participation. It will be posted on the Sackville Pastoral Charge website and the Sackville Pastoral Charge Facebook page.