as i sit in my office in preparation for my 4th sunday at the Catawissa Avenue United Methodist Church in Sunbury, PA, i am reminded of the amazing blessing and responsibility it is to be serving a church. it is, to be honest, a wonderful vocation, full of the joys of people's lives - joys like weddings and births and new jobs and anniversaries and answered prayers. it is full of spiritual sojourning, walking together, eating together, welcoming new travelers along the way. it is, at times, dripping with hope, like great drops of life-blood that can't be contained by the skins of these church buildings.
but it is also an awesomely humbling vocation, full of pain and grief, and every kind of brokenness. it is always marked with the scars of life, and sometimes requires dealing with very open wounds. when it is at its best and most honest, it is completely full of our brokenness and both our worst and best potentialities.
and in all that, to be called to be one who serves a community like that, who tries to speak the truth in love, who tries to guide us towards growing in our faith, and who tries to leave room for the Spirit in all of that - to be called to that work - is a humbling and awesome responsibility. seeing my name on the sign is a very visual and even tangible symbol of this calling. just a simple reminder of my vocation.
as i enter this fourth week of ministry in this place, i look forward to many, many more. what will i be able to say at the end of july 2011? 2012? will we have been faithful to God's call on us? will we have grown in our faith? will we have learned better how to love God and our neighbors? these are questions that remain unanswered for now, but will be answered by the countless moments and decisions ahead: moments and decisions that i am excited to be a part of alongside this group of disciples.
if you are in the susquehanna valley area and are looking for a church home, or are just curious about church, come and visit us on sunday mornings at 10am at 319 catawissa avenue in sunbury, pa. come and journey with us!