This is our Destiny
Brian and I have spent the last several Sundays at 9 a.m. looking at ways we might “build the capacity to love” in our lives. Each week, 10-20 of us circled up to try to work it out together. As Brian and I chatted about the topics we’ve addressed each week, I’ve asked myself the question, “If love is the goal, the answer, the killer app, the way, and all there is” then why don’t we more actively and intentionally develop it in our lives. While we might actively strategize and plan for success, our approach to love is often more passive. “Hmm?” I thought to myself.
Then, I thought, “what if we planned to have ‘an extraordinarily loving year!’” What would it look like? What would we need? How would it go? Who would show up for it? When would we start it? What would be different about that in regard to every other year?
I can’t look you in the eye and tell you I know the answer to each of those questions and all the others not listed. But I can look you in the eye and tell you I’m up for it—WE’RE UP FOR IT!
Love is in the bones and the logs of this church. It was here at the beginning as missionaries made sacrifices to serve this community, dudes sawed logs for the first buildings that would bring people together, and female nurses brought monumental and essential healing and health care to those who lived and worked in the valley and sometimes to those who visited, too. You can’t get away from it.
So, if I were to say to you (y’all,) “We’re gonna have a loving year this coming year at St. John’s,” you might respond, “just sounds like any other year to us!” You’d be right. Of course, that’s not what I’m envisioning. I’m envisioning an extraordinarily loving year—a year where we will consciously plan to feel more love and spread more love than we ever have. (That’s my deep hope and dream!)
What might this year hold for us? I can think of a few things. I think we might give some more TLC to our church campuses. I believe we might come together to build a couple of churches in the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro. I dream of a deeper partnership with Episcopal Relief and Development in our efforts to end gender based violence—there’s a safe-house that needs building in Liberia.
We would double down on our partnerships with Community Safety Network and Habitat for Humanity. Gosh, I’d love to begin slowly to address racial reconciliation in our valley. And, we already know we want to do more of the right things on The Wind River Reservation with our brothers and sisters there. I think we might host a REVIVAL! And, of course, there is the shelter of, the nurture of, and the care of each other.
Church, this is our destiny for 2020. And, I can tell you as psyched up as I get about what we’re doing and what we can do, it’s even better when I realize, it won’t be hard to convince any of you that this is our destiny. You’re all in!