You have probably noticed over the last few years that each Sunday we have one of our clergy “roaming” during the morning instead of participating in the leadership of worship. Whenever this is my responsibility for the morning I often hear, “Oh! You are off this morning!” If this has been you, I know you were probably just joking in the midst of being shocked at seeing us in our “street clothes.”
While I love being a part of worship leadership and being in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings, a couple of weeks ago I was honestly a little awestruck by the breadth and depth of ministry I was able to witness or be a part of in the midst of my roaming.
First and foremost were the conversations – Time to stop and be present with people rather than looking at my watch and making sure I was not going to run down the aisle late for worship. From stopping by the nursery to chat with our youngest members and their caretakers to multiple moments of deep listening with people who are in the midst of experiencing hurt and worry, I had the honor of having people share their story with me.
And that wasn’t all! Here was the rest of my morning:
- I paused for a while to hear Charles Wolford, the Executive Director of Mission Central, tell his story during the Focus On and how he has used that unique story to serve others.
- I walked by the translation suite and got to overhear our two translators sharing their gift of language as they translated the worship services into French and Spanish.
- I visited with Rod and Vicky Robertson as they were making plans for all the school supplies that are coming in for our Adopt-a-Schools, sharing their passion for education and children way beyond their retirement from the public school system.
- I chatted with our senior high youth as they were preparing to leave on mission trip, and later offered them a blessing as they left to serve Hurricane Harvey victims in LaGrange, Texas.
- I stopped by Pirtle Chapel where our elementary children were learning about Methodism and got to see our upcoming Confirmands share the gift of teaching as they helped lead the lesson.
- I helped church members find the Stock the Shelves bags for Mission Central so that they could bring food back the next Sunday and share in the gift of abundance.
- I held the door to Pirtle Chapel as flowers were delivered and placed for an inurnment in the columbarium, sharing the gift of presence in the midst of grief.
- I watched as Hermelinda sorted and set out boxed lunches that had been delivered for a CarePortal orientation, sharing her gift of hospitality to people who will be sharing the gift of hospitality to children served by Child Protective Services.
- I paused and worshiped with our preschoolers, including my own son, and the adults serving with them during Children’s Chapel as they shared all that they are in the worship of our God.
Most importantly, all of this was filtered through the continuous sounds of people from so many different backgrounds and experiences joining together in worship through song, prayer, giving and scripture.
And this was just ONE person’s experience within four hours on a Sunday morning! How many other things happened that I was not witness to?!
While I am often overwhelmed (in a good way) that God has called me to serve as part of the leadership of this congregation, I am equally overwhelmed (again, in a good way) at the many ways God has called EACH of us in our own unique ways. It is an honor to grow and serve in ministry WITH you!