What a busy time this has been with our Vestry Retreat with Canon Bill Spaid, the visit from Father Bill Beers for Food for the Poor, the Bishop’s Workshop, Bishop Whayne Hougland’s visit to St. James’, Lenten Lunches, planning for spring and the Albion community Garden, planning for Reading Camp and planning for Holy Week.
I have been contemplating the word “contemplate”, “to look thoughtfully for a long time at”. Not only are we to listen for God we are to look for God. Can it be that God wants us to use all our senses to “see” God in our surroundings, to “see” God in the Other, to “see” God in our neighbors, our family and friends, and to “see” God active in Albion? When we sit quietly and “look” at a problem or an opportunity if you prefer, a response or a solution may develop in our mind. When I sit quietly and contemplate the face of someone I am angry with I come to see their humanity, I come to see how they are like me, I come to see how we differ and how that is a blessing, I come to see God in their face, I come to see what I must do. I have a gift for asking questions, not that I have the answers, but a desire to enter into the conversation. Sister Nancy continually reminds me not to think dualistically, that there is no either / or, there is no right and wrong, there is no us and them but we. When I enter a conversation with someone I disagree with then how can I invite them into a conversational prayer where we seek the common ground, where we dive deeper to find the real issue? I do not want weapons in church. The other advocates for guns in church. What are we both seeking? We are both seeking safety for ourselves and for our congregations in our places of worship. From this point we can work together to seek solutions without the dualistic Yes/No which leads to no solution. I will not back down and neither will you as we both truly believe we are right, but from the common point of desiring to be safe in our place of worship we can now talk about the problem and possible solutions.
I shared with you the Easter message from the Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in Canada (their Presiding Bishop). The phrase “standing under the cross to understand” struck me. I will be contemplating this phrase as I move into Holy Week. May God bless you and your loved ones in this most holy season of the year.
With the love of Christ, Mother Darlene+
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Rev. Darlene Kuhn,
A word from Mother Darlene