Musings from Ministry Team Members

Posted February 21st, 2019

Dear Church Family,

I had the privilege of going to Great Bend on Tuesday and being a part of the Western Plains District Leadership/Pastoral Training, and it was eye opening.  Gimbiya Kettering and Dennis Webb led the sessions, and I want to say that our district is in amazing hands as I sat with sisters and brothers reflecting on our congregations.  I was in awe of the vulnerability that flowed from our sisters and brothers.  Kettering and Webb were amazing navigators of this journey, and they made us all uncomfortable to God’s glory.

I don’t have enough time or space, in this newsletter, to highlight all that they shared and brought to light, so I invite any who want to hear more to get a hold of me and lets chat.  Over coffee.  Over lunch.  Around the table.  Listening. Engaging. Learning.  But I wanted to highlight my brief trip, because what time I spent inspired me and challenged me, and I want to invite any and all to join me at the table.

This is supposed to be a spring letter.  A chance to remind us that though we are buried under a bit of snow and the cold wind still bites our noses, spring is coming.  Color and life will emerge from a long winter slumber.  We could find ourselves playing outside, enjoying the Creation’s invitation to be together, in our backyards, in the mountains, or wherever God’s meets us and greets us.   That was supposed to be the purpose of this month’s newsletter but the training on Tuesday changed the trajectory of my thinking and writing.

Instead, I want us to think about icebergs.  Yeah I know it’s still winter, and we just moved the snow from our driveways and sidewalks, and we anticipate another bout of winter weather this weekend.  Yes, I know an iceberg only reminds us of the season we feel buried in.  Nonetheless, I want us to imagine an iceberg.  A huge one.  The kind of one that invites us to stand on and marvel at the majesty of it all, an iceberg that is inspiring. Beautiful.  Divine.

As marvelous as this iceberg appears, most know that what we see and enjoy is simply the tip.  There is more to this mountain of ice than meets the eye.  There are buried levels, beyond our ability to see or understand.  We love the peak, because it seems perfect.  Flawless.  Powerful.  Held together in such a way that all can ooh and awe at it as the masterpiece it is.  However, we do so at the risk of missing what lies hidden.

Churches can be beautiful icebergs: amazing, gorgeous, masterpieces, and they can have hidden layers.  It is the layers lurking beneath the surface of the waters that have the ability to anchor us deeply into the mystery of God or have the ability to shipwreck us and get us off course.  I am inviting us to check out what lies beneath the surface of our iceberg.

Let’s go diving.

Inspired by Sister Kettering and Brother Webb, I bid us to dive beneath the surface and examine our iceberg.  I want us to go into this adventure, together.  Bound to each other.  Listening to one another.  Letting God’s love tie us together, so that even if we discover that things are a little off, we can and will work through them.  Ensuring that we will be stronger and healthier and holier once we do.  We might get uncomfortable, and we might feel a little anxious, but if in the end we find God in each other, and if we come away whole, then hasn’t the journey been worth it?  Hasn’t the expedition beneath the waters proven to be Divine?

Spring is coming, what a wonderful time to look at ourselves and seek the new life that spring promises.  We could enter the Season of Lent, ready to reflect on ourselves and prepare ourselves for new life and new beginnings.   The leadership training helped me see my own stuff beneath the surface, and I realized, as I drove home, that I want to explore that stuff with you: my sisters and brothers.  My family.  My fellow pilgrims.  Because this mission only gets better if we have each other.

So may we all welcome the dawn of warmer temperatures that promise colorful days and singing birds, but may we also welcome the search for lies beneath our ice berg, so that together we can be whole.  To the glory of God and for our neighbor’s good.  Amen.

Pastor Jerry

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