Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Apologies and Questions

I need to apologize.  This is always true for me but in particular this time I need to say I am sorry and to ask the forgiveness of a some good people.  I did not do my job and adequately organize or lead our time together in discussion during one of our Food for the Journey dinners.

What could have been a fruitful time of exploration of the possibilities for us in whatever it is that God's is calling us to become as an Episcopal parish in Morgan County in the second half of the second decade of the 21st century got too focused on one idea.

I know this especially now because in another episode we did talk about who God is calling us to become.  We talked about how our common prayer life needs constantly to ask God for guidance. Not only to acknowledge God's presence with us in the calling but to understand ourselves as dependent on God's calling.  So dependent that we do not take our good days for granted.

I am sorry that I did not help one of our groups consider these same concerns.  Instead we got worried about numbers and programs and business.

Even more so I am sorry that I used my homily to criticize that failure as if I hadn't had most of the responsibility for its occurrence.

I am sorry.

Thanks be to God there is forgiveness.  And in this instance there is also a great value gained in reflection on all these dinners and the different ways in which our conversations have proceeded.

Understanding ourselves as bound by the things we do: programs, events, liturgical choices, budget decisions, etc is not just unavoidable; our discernment would be only virtual without the substance of those efforts and structures.

Like the proverbial Wisdom we are known by how we keep our house.  And there is no way for us to imagine a life together in response to God's calling without the things we do and the things we decide to do to be a part of the evaluation.

But another learning has me apologizing here as well.  I know this especially because I have worked many times before with athletes returning to competition after -- in some cases season ending -- injuries.

Many of you have heard me characterize our time since the spring of 2010 as a "glorious convalescence."  No doubt we are still healing but perhaps now is the time to try some running again, to try some discomfort with scrutiny and critique, to push out of the box, out of our wheelhouse.

To push out not only in the things we choose to do but in how we choose to identify and name and frame and re-imagine the very community we are in the doing.

There is probably no real immediate answer to the question "What/Who is God calling us to become?"  Our new running may be just to keep the question alive instead of answering it with a program or an event or a structure.

I am sorry but as difficult and frightening and painful as our trials and failures may have been God IS calling us to become a new thing.  Let's keep asking the question.

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