Hello, beloved of God! 

 I have a lot of mental gurus – mentors I follow through books, podcasts, or other mediums to help me become a wiser, more balanced person. Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers are some of my most dear ones. I met them (via podcast) in 2018 and I’ve listened to them at least twice a week ever since on their podcast, Pantsuit Politics. I later read, and led a small group, based on their book, I Think You’re Wrong, but I’m Listening (A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations)

 There’s a lot of wisdom there, but what I am remembering as we move into the fall and discover what God is calling us to do with who we are right now is a quote they brought up from the film Chariots of Fire. I haven’t seen the movie, although I think of it every time I have had to run on sand, but the lines I have in mind go like this:

Lord Cadogan: That’s a matter for the committee!

Lord Birkenhead: We are the committee.

 I’m not talking about literal committees, but I am talking about our life together. It’s easy to go along with our culture when we come to church, to feel like consumers because every American has been taught to consume. Sarah and Beth wrote, “We started treating our institutions like products. When we interact with our institutions, we only have our individual needs in mind.” 

 Absolutely our institutions – churches, schools, government, nonprofits, etc. – should be sensitive to our needs, but “they” are also “us.” We are the committee, the team, the school board, the voter, the volunteer. We are the ones we are waiting for! 

 We come to this not out of a sense of ownership, but as people committed to staying connected and offering whatever it is we have to give – the potluck dish, the hour of our time, the talent for sewing, the willingness to be silly or get up in front of a group – so that we thrive together. 

 And there are so many opportunities ahead of us! VBS has been a great way to jumpstart opportunities to connect with our children and their families. (We will celebrate a great month of Knights of North Castle this Sunday in worship!)

 But maybe we want to keep offering opportunities for children on Wednesday nights. And maybe we want to offer dinner before Bible study so we can break bread together. And when I met with our youth a couple of weeks ago, they couldn’t wait to dive back into their own studies as well as have fun together on Sunday nights.

 And all of this takes all of us – our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. If we each offer a bit of what we have, I’m confident we’ll be able to make a place for all of the people God is bringing our way, because that’s God’s nature – God always provides enough and then some – I’m thinking of that feast out of loaves and fishes that ended with leftovers.

 So if you are feeling a tug on your heart, if God is nudging you to help offer space for others, please let me know. You can email me at rev. [email protected] or call me at the church.

 I’m praying for you. I hope you are praying for me. I am grateful to be in ministry with all of you! 

 grace & peace,

 Pastor Jessica.