Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Earth Year at LSTC

This lush tree is across the street from my home and as we walk by it each night, we've imagined that its name is "Elwood." We speak to it--hang in there through the winds of stormy nights; thank you for your shade; you are beautiful and grand.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to read a moving article in the most recent edition of Spiritus--by Mary Frolich called "Under the Sign of Jonah: Studying Spirituality in a Time of Ecosystemic Crisis"--I recommend it highly. I was moved by the themes of the article to spend the evening at the shore of Lake Michigan.

The summer feels like its coming to an end--classes will soon be in session again--and with that, there is both grief and joy. We will welcome students back to campus! The days are growing shorter once again but peaches are in season. The warmth of the sun will fade but we will have the opportunity to enjoy the harvest, cultivated in its rays. And, at LSTC, it is the beginning of our Earth Year! If you're on Facebook, check out Earth Year at LSTC: 2009-2010.

Pastor Joy

Saturday, August 15, 2009

on the brink of big decisions...

In the midst of our church making decisions together, I pray for each of you who contemplate seminary and leadership/service in the church. I turn again and again to the story of Esther and her mentor/uncle Mordecai's call and question to her to step up on behalf of her people, "Who knows? Perhaps you are in this place and this time for just such a time as this."
Her response? In paraphrase: I will go and if I perish, I perish.

This is a time when leadership in the church is critically needed. We need people willing to take risks--even to put their life on the line on behalf of God's people. Could you be one of those who God is calling for "such a time as this?" Leadership as a pastor or rostered leader will certainly not be glamorous, as we might imagine Queen Esther's to have been or as we might imagine some past incarnation of "pastor" to have been... but that does not make the need any less great.

The future of our church body, our institutions, our congregations is not altogether certain but God's faithfulness is unending. God is still calling leaders into service. God sends the Holy Spirit to gather, enlighten, enliven and santify the church, the body of Christ--and perhaps the way of the church will radically change as we go into the future, but the One who died and was raised accompanies us on this journey... through whatever may come.

In the One who died and was raised to new life,
Pastor Joy