Advent 2: Waiting for the { vocational} Light

It was a full morning in the day of Small Parish. We had ONE Mass at 9 in the morning Central Standard Time, followed by our Annual Parish Meeting. At this meeting we elect vestry members { who serve a three-year term} plus three lay delegates to the annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. These past two years I’ve served as a lay delegate from my parish, but travel time with Best Dude preclude my ability to go to Convention. I’m plenty happy with these arrangements , as we have some fine parishioners who will represent the congregation. {along with our Rector & our Vocational Deacon}

This is a very important service to our parish and our Church, as some policies passed during General Convention 2009 and the Central Gulf Coast’s Convention from last year will be ratified.

Last Convention , I was part of the delegation who voted on lay & ordained delegates to the tri-annual General Convention of The Episcopal Church.That was exciting & I am very pleased with MOST of the delegates who will represent our Diocese in the summer of 2012.

On of the many things about Convention that I will miss is the chance to worship & socialize with my Episco-peeps throughout the Diocese. My last two trips as a delegate to Convention , plus my weekend as a pilgrim at Cursillio has made me more aware that the Church stretches far beyond the walls & neighborhoods served by Small Parish. We are one holy, catholic Church, overseen by one area Bishop.

An aside from my original point: Shortly after I was confirmed into TEC, my then-rector gave me an opportunity to meet & be present at a Mass said by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori when she made a stop in my Diocese. This was by far one of those ” mountaintop experiences” that priests & other Christian clergy like to tell us about.Meeting her was awesome beyond words & I will never forget that day for as long as I live. From what I’ve read in her books, her vocational journey was { and IS} anything but easy or ordinary.

I’m still trying my hardest to make this world a better place & to spread the Gospel to all people. In order to accomplish this task, I remind myself every day to be the sort of Christian I would want to meet if I were an unBeliever. Bishop Katharine inspires me to reach folks where they are in this life, be it active churchgoing Christians,seekers who wish to know more about my faith, or those who claim to believe in nothing but what we can sense with our bodies.

Another challenge I face in this upcoming new year is to prayerfully continue to ask God to show me what God wants me to do with my life. In January, I’ll begin preparing for becoming a licensed Worship Leader in my Diocese. Currently we’ve only on such person at Small Parish. I find my ministery shifting at a crossroads right now & this is exciting a somewhat nerve-wracking feeling. Best Dude, or anyone who knows me well, knows that I do not like surprises & prefer to know ahead of time if a big change will occur in my life or in the life of my community. { People with Autism do not adapt to change well at all– it causes our already misfiring neurons to fizzle into overdrive} Yet, by the grace of God, I am learning that change is essential for spiritual growth. No one I respects wants to stay stagnant & neither do I.

Amen

~2 Advent 2011

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