Thursday, July 10, 2008

Open the Door!

Here I went, stepping right inside. And it sure is coming to the place where love and hope will and do abide.

This cabin week feels like home and family, even though this year none of the folks here are related to me by blood; they’re almost closer, I chose them and they just welcomed me in and said “It’s so good to be together again!”

But there’s been this other little thing, too. I had no idea that a few days of vacation would come with some professional coaching. The lady of the resort here has been in ministry for thirty years, and well, she gave me a great professional coaching session right down at the internet cafĂ© (you know, the picnic tables by the office where you can get wireless access!).

Rev. Diana sat me down and talked over our ministry to and with families. She’s had this long and winding path of ministry that took her from Michigan to this little town in Minnesota and now even to her own little congregation. The first thing she said is “Oh, with half time work the first thing you’ve got to figure out is where your ‘no’ is.” What are your boundaries? What can’t you do? That’s where you start. And yes, that creative spark takes you and you have to run with that. That’s your yes, you go on the creative run when it comes.

And she also had this great analogy of the trinity, and yes of course our roots go waaay back in Unitarian and Universalist history away from the trinity, but we’re pretty good at translation we UUs! The father is the content, the holy spirit is the relationships and the son is fun. I love that. You have to have all three to have a balanced and vibrant Religious Education ministry.

For example, say you have an RE teacher who is all about the content—lessons-lessons-lessons. Well, then class is going to be boring and attendance will drop off. And if you have someone leading who is all about the fun and the social parts of class, then it starts to feel less important and families will not value the time spent enough to make the effort to show up every Sunday. And if you have a leader who ignores the importance of the individual and group relationship, then your chance for connection is lost and again, it’s left feeling a little hollow.

Bless her heart she even referred to the “Jesus Freaks” (her words, not mine!) and how that’s out of balance!

And you know, she’s right, this is a great way to think about it, without the trinity maybe for me, or with the amended triad of spirit or you know, something like the theological house. And while of course I’ve probably heard a lot of this before, here by the lake and relaxed without all the detritus from regular life, man, it is really sinking in.

In so many way’s its so good to be together again.

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