What fun it is to be with a group of kids and volunteers doing Vacation Bible School (VBS) this week. What a gift to be working with volunteers from Trinity United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church on this endeavor and to watch my daughter navigate a new space with all new faces. The message for the week is really that God's love, presence and power will get us through. The "TRUST JESUS!" refrain of the week is a good one -- I know that for me, personally, trust does not come easily or naturally. It takes reminders. Practice. And I am learning that it also takes community.
All of you teach me about trusting God and Jesus all the time. As I listen to the vulnerability and honesty of the testimonies being shared as part of our Open and Affirming discernment process. As I watch our youth get up and lead parts of worship or play music or emulate Paul in our "What's in the Box?" moment. As I gather with leaders to consider how we can support our neighbor across the road (Trinity United Methodist Church) as they recover from a flood in their building -- keep a look out for those opportunities as they come up! As we consider how to faithfully use your financial gifts to the congregation to (FINALLY!) work on and finish projects that have been in the works for a few years. As I gather with our Mission & Outreach Team to talk about next steps in the work they have identified for our congregation around supporting or caring for homeless and unaccompanied youth.
We have a lot going on -- new things in the pipeline, trying to figure out what our new "normal" is going to be, and simply the week-in-week-out ways of being church together. In all of this, the VBS refrain our kiddos are learning to "TRUST JESUS!" is good advice.
As we continue to discern how God is calling us with regard to becoming Open and Affirming, let us "TRUST JESUS!"
As we explore what our new normal will be in terms of being a hybrid community that does some things in person and some things virtually, let us "TRUST JESUS!"
As we host a handful of memorial services and continue to grieve those whom we have lost during these months of pandemic, let us "TRUST JESUS!"
I think a lot of trusting Jesus is a matter of letting go of our fear -- acknowledging it but not letting it control us or our actions. I think it means that we act with courage, compassion, generosity and love even when we want to act out of a sense of scarcity or self-preservation. I think it means that we dream boldly -- imagining the future that God dreams for us and our communities and work towards that -- no matter how daunting or complicated the path towards that dream may seem. And I think trusting Jesus means showing up exactly as we are -- in our vulnerability, in our authenticity, in our strength.
Sometimes being a grown-up at VBS is great -- I need reminders of the things that our kids are learning!