Word of the Week

On the Road Again

Indianapolis_INLast week, I asked to attend the Transition in Ministry Conference in Indianapolis representing the Lewis Fellows program with three other of my colleagues. It was a gathering of around 125 other younger clergy, all representing different transitions into ministry programs funded through the Lilly Foundation.

It felt like a honor to be among even more really energetic and passionate clergy of all different denominations from across the country. It seems that such opportunities just seem to fall into my lap and I am very grateful for this. I always walk away thankful for the chance to have my network of peers expanded and get new ideas about what others are doing. I often find myself feeling more at home in ecumenical settings, rather than in Baptist only groups too.

One of the most meaningful parts of the conference for me was hearing the group sing together. Only but a few of the group were trained musicans, but the harmonies we created everytime we sung were amazing. Not that all pastors can sing-- I sat beside many who can't hold a tune. So, I believe this is what shocked me.

Our practice was to sing the Doxology before every meal-- all in our own words based on our traditions. The words out of every mouth were not always the same. Some said Creator, Sustainer, and Holy Ghost. Some said "He" for God and others used the more inclusive "God" instead of "He." Some used the traditional words "Father, Son and Holy Ghost." Yet, it didn't really matter. It was a beatiful nonetheless.

I believe this is what the future of the church is about. Diversity at its best. Voices with different words coming together in common purpose. Harmony in spite of training or no training at all. Acceptance of other's gifts and theology.

I am glad to be at home and back to "normal" life this week (I think you work twice as hard while at conferences trying to do the conference work and keep up with everything else at home remotely at the same time), yet also inspired to life out the future of my wonderful little church here in Reston.