Sunday, June 10, 2007

What I’m for….

I don’t know if I'm peculiar in this (I said "in this", ok?) , but I tend to find that being away from the parish makes me notice all the things I wish were different, the relationships that I find challenging, the habits of mind or practice that seem unhelpful.

It works on a personal level too, of course. I always come back from retreat with a raft of new resolutions, plans and hopes – this time I’ve even written a “to do” list (which experience suggests it would be unwise to publish) in an attempt to use my energies as positively as I can. Being given the gift of time to spend with God, I become aware of how easy it is to let that primary relationship get crowded out even as I engage in all sorts of activities that should have God's name running through to their very core.
So I took a long and hard look at myself and my own situation, and then turned the same scrutiny on the life of St M’s. By about Thursday night I had decided that things were pretty ropy there…

But then, of course, it was time to come home and this morning I presided at the Eucharist .
J was making his First Communion, so his warm and wonderful family was out in force.
R, knee-high to the organist, was admitted as a full member of the choir, with all the attendant delight of choir and congregation.
And standing on the chancel steps I could see so many dear and friendly faces – and I realised once again the privilege of serving, for the moment, God’s people in this place.
This community, warts and all, is the setting where I'm to try to retell Christ's story in my own life.
This community is the framework in which my ministry has meaning, as we work out the narrative together.
This community is the place where my priesthood can be articulated, as I gather up its concerns and offer them at the altar.
I know I'll move on in a little while, - a prospect that is almost as exciting as it is daunting,- but actually it’s quite OK being here for now. It's what I'm for.


Mary said...


marcella said...

welcome home. it was a lovely service. For me the best bit was when 3 year old E was running round the church during the last hymn and when told not to by her father declared "it's all right daddy" secure in the knowledge imparted by you that you are SUPPOSED to go out with joy at the end of the service.

Cal said...

Kathryn that's lovely.

It's all too easy to note the things that could be improved, and all too easy to forget to appreciate, let alone mention, all the things that are good.

RevDrKate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RevDrKate said...

I have been enjoying your posts. Tagged you to play Eight Random Things today but the link didn't work. You can see it at my blog.

PPB said...

how beautifully said!

Michelle said...

I loved the comment about "warts and all", as my community is struggling with changes...

And just for fun...I tagged you for a 'random' meme at Quantum Theology!

Grace thing said...

I love what you said about church being a community who works out the narrative together. Thanks.

Scog Blog said...

Thanks for this. I am a newcomer to your blog but you are now added to my Google Reader feeds so I shouldn't miss anything.

I have just completed Reader training and will be liscenced in October whilst also going (slowly) through the Ordination process.

Your blog articulates some of the many emotions and challenges ministry in any setting entails and somehow I always end up feeling a little more normal after reading your posts.

I probably won't comment much - but then again? But I will be reading.