POSTED BY CAROL BARRIGER, Sabbatical Minister, Grace North Church
I am always fascinated by the way in which communities continually reshape themselves. While we may be “creatures of habit,” as they say, settling into patterns of relationship, I believe there is something within us which seeks out new connections, and defies expectations. We are not as fixed as we might imagine. Those new connections change and shift us. We are touched by the personalities and quirks of those whom the Spirit has placed in our path. We are moved, challenged, irritated, and comforted. But we are not the same. We do not get to choose all of our new connections in advance. If we did, we might never choose the challengers or irritants!
However, it’s also true that despite changes there is a remarkable solidity to community. That is how I experience Grace North. I am so grateful for the thorough welcome for my sabbatical ministry here. There is great willingness to step up where there is a need to be filled, and to embrace the experience of different leadership. Actually, it’s not so different really. Our openness to all and our Eucharistic liturgy are sturdy anchors. Yet the flow reminds me of bike paths I have known, paths that run parallel to accustomed roads. The bike paths offer different terrain, and different views, maybe a bit of meandering, but the direction and destination are the same.
In our case, that direction is the continued opening of our hearts to God and the deepening of our sensitivity to the movement of the Spirit. This is our Epiphany theme of Discovery and Discernment. Our worship, with a wonderful camaraderie and music ministry, sustain that. And yet we have the benefit of hearing the cadence of new voices, and sharing in our ever-changing stream of prayers, joys, concerns, and blessings.
We invite you to be a part of our grounded yet progressively open and flexible community. Our evening Labyrinth service returns on January 31 at 6pm, in the newly refurbished Labyrinth Hall at Grace North Church. Join in a time of meditation, connection, and reflection with music and candlelight. At our regular Sunday, 5pm worship on February 2, we observe Candlemass, the blessing of our candles, and the blessing of St. Blaise, physician of souls and bodies. I hope to see you there.