Calm is Contagious, And other thoughts . . .
Calm is Contagious: In the idyllic setting of a seminary classroom professors teach budding pastors to be a “non-anxious presence” in the midst of conflict and anxiety. I understand that teaching much more fully now. In the swirling environment of a pandemic, in the frustration and confusion of not being able to meet, a calm and calming personality can spread positivity and possibility to many. This is one call of the church.
Zooming can be both exciting and exhausting: I used Zoom meeting software for the first time a month and a half ago. It has been exciting and meaningful to connect with congregation members, elders, and colleagues in this way. Umpteen Zoom meetings later, I have found it can be exhausting and fatiguing too. I do give thanks for this ability to meet and connect during this time, though!
The Bible shows us the way: I believe that scripture tells the story of how to live a full life with God, particularly in tough times and the ever-present reality of human suffering. This view of scripture has helped me throughout my life and it speaks deeply to me and our time now. Holy hope speaks loudest in the chorus of so many other voices, saying so many other things.
This step is the step: What comes next? When this all began, I used the metaphor of a detour; a path that was not normal and challenging, but would lead back to the one we know. Many people are trying to predict the future, what I know is this very step, and then I know that with mindfulness and concentration I’ll pick up my foot, move it forward through the air, and place it back on the earth for the next step. Each step is the one step.
Collaboration is Crucial: I give thanks that the Presbyterian Church is ruled by elders and as a pastor I get to make big decisions in a collaborative way. In my years of being a pastor at FSPC I have found much grace and wisdom in Session meetings. I give thanks that even when we have difference of opinion, we allow grace and space in abundance. I also give thanks for the work of our Presbytery’s leadership. They are communicating with pastors and churches in new and faithful ways, ways I have not seen in my time as a Presbyterian minister. Give thanks you are a member of a connected church.
Spring has sprung: Every year I’m blown away by the blooming trees and plants on the grounds of Faithful Shepherd. If you haven’t done a drive-by yet, now is the time!
Giving is Powerful: Members of Faithful Shepherd continue to show generosity through financial giving to the church, special donations, and creativity. Together, FSPC made a $1,500 donation to the Food Bank for the Heartland.
I love you and God loves you: And never, ever forget that I love you and God loves you. Be diligent, be faithful, wash your hands, and rejoice that Jesus is alive!
In Christ’s Love, Pastor Nick