All Saints' Migration
Our departures are as important as our arrivals.
At All Saints', we know of our goodness and our light; we know just how great our parish family is, we know all that we do for our community, and we know just how deep our love for one another runs. Often in life, it is only by knowing one another that we able to tap into these depths within ourselves, parts we never knew we had but always felt present within our being. We are forever changed by the love we experience with one another, and we must allow that love to carry beyond us and ripple outward.
Matthew 6:19-21 says, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." As we enter this next season of our shared parish life — saying "good-bye" to Mother Cynthia and sending Father Jonathan on sabbatical — we must be reminded of all that we've been blessed with and acknowledge that our blessings must be shared beyond ourselves. There is a world out there that deserves the chance to know the goodness and hearts of the people we hold closest to us. In the words of Dr. Maya Angelou, "Love liberates. It doesn't bind."
On Father Jonathan's Sabbatical
Father Jonathan is one of this year's recipients of the Christian Theological Seminary's 2020 Lilly Endowment National Clergy Renewal Program. The program aims to strengthen Christian congregations by providing opportunities for pastors to step away from daily parish life and engage in a period of renewal, reflection, and continual education.
The fundamental purpose of clergy continuing education leave is to strengthen priestly vocation; to re-ground the will of God in those who He calls to His service.
The theme of Father Jonathan's sabbatical aligns with the featured text of our Parish Book Study, The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian McLaren. It aims to help our congregation move forward, particularly during these uncertain times in a life post-covid.
It is true all of creation moves, migrates, and transforms. And while church often talks about stability and order, it is only now we realize we must become fluid with the outside world, adapt, and ease into movement. The great theological question up for reflection is: How do we continue to migrate together when forced to be apart?
Father Jonathan has chosen to look to nature, creatures, and people in his attempt at understanding the migration pathways found in natural order. His period of reflection and education will begin January 1, 2021 and end April 1, 2021, moving from Costa Rica, to the South Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Alaska before returning to us.
More details to come.