Swim with the Monkeys 1
Last Sunday at LaShauna’s ordination Reverend Williams talked about the perfect pastor or an image that churches often have of pastor that would make Jesus look flawed. It is easy as a pastor to feel like you have to do it all and be it all for folks and for churches to expect that the pastor be all things for all people. Often like the advice I give couples who are about to marry, the things you love and wanted in a pastor are the things that annoy the crap out of you a few years down the road. In good situations both the pastor and the church grow together not to perfection but into the church that God’s spirit is calling them to be. This call to grow keeps us from feeling we have reached perfection in the good times and always calls us to hold up a mirror to ourselves to ask, Is this where God needs us to be? Last year, we at HUCC completed a vision for our church and jumped in to move toward that vision in a commitment to grow together, as things have moved and changed we are feeling the excitement and joy, and maybe for some a little overwhelmed, as we bear witness to the fact that we are moving. A movement that is hopefully reflected in our life as a congregation as well as our building. And while we celebrate these accomplishments we still need to ask, are there yet new things that God is calling us to do and be? Since my reflection for the graduates a couple of weeks ago I have been enamored of the phrase “swimming in the monkey poop”* and encouraged some of the young people in my life to reflect on the risk of swimming through the monkey poop to get to the place your passion is calling you. In the past few months as a community it’s been a joyously monkey poop free existence for most of us, but I wonder are there rivers that God is calling us to cross to get to new places of love and ministry as we leave behind the “we can’t”, “that’s too big for us” life preservers on the other shore and celebrate the big things God has already showed us we can do. So today, I am thankful that I do not serve a perfect church and that that church does not expect a perfect pastor because that means we can be imperfect together always reaching, always looking around the bend or across the next river together to swim through whatever challenges we face to live into the vision God is creating for our next years together. Let’s dive in.
*phrase comes from the book by George Saunders "Congratulations by the way..." our gift to our graduates