Yesterday one of the members of my Mutual Ministries Committee offered a strange blessing.  In the midst of a conversation about where we are as a church and what this moment of transition might mean, the committee encouraged me to model the spontaneity I’ve been talking about.

The group mentioned that they appreciated my Sunday comments about why I was choosing to revisit certain texts and themes, the way I was open to an unscripted conversation with the community, and the possibilities of the rare moment in which we find ourselves.  Then came the blessing.  “You’re free,” said one of the committee members.  “You’re free.”

This was followed by a chorus of voices encouraging me to continue departing from the script.  You have asked us to be truly present to this moment, they said.  Let’s do that.

I walked out of the meeting feeling strangely energized.  We had closed with a prayer that we might see anew the ways we free each other and the ways we still hold each other back by falling into familiar forms and symbols without realizing that this is a time of rare gifts and opportunities.

With all of this in mind, I’ll introduce a few creative changes into my last weeks at Covenant.  Some worship elements will move around and some will be temporarily shelved as we make room for real conversations.  Consider with me a sermon dialogue during the service, a spontaneous and community led prayer, or a time for children when I talk to the kids about what it’s like to be a minister.  This moment seems too good to miss.  Let’s have some fun with it.  Let’s leave room for it to be its own kind of blessing without trying to control it too carefully.  This is a growing edge for Covenant.  So let’s gather at the edge for a few weeks.

It is my custom to end every blog post with a question.  This is one of my last posts for Covenant, and I pose a few questions that have been at the center of my experience here:  What things do you grasp too tightly?  What do you try to control?  And how do you learn to loosen your grip, let go, and find the freedom that lies beyond certainty?

I can’t wait to read your answers.  More importantly, I can’t wait to see you in church as we try a few new things.

With aloha,

J

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