Many years ago, I was a member of a group whose focus was placed on keeping current with one another. We lived into this focus by sharing life’s challenges and successes with one another, reminding us that we need not face challenges alone and that our successes are achieved through community, not individuality.
I am reminded today of the ways we stay current with one another as members of a faith community, especially during the pandemic. Our vocal and bell choirs gather virtually once a week to socialize and practice. Our prayer shawl knitters gather virtually once a month to check in and as they knit shawls for those needing a reminder of their importance to our faith community. Our Women In Transition gather virtually and discuss current events, books and check in on each other’s well beings. Our middle schoolers, youth group and faith formation groups gather for fun, for discussion, for the opportunity to engage with one another, even if only virtually. Our Stephen Ministers gather monthly to provide support through listening, those who participate in our virtual weekly Coffee Hour gather to check in on one another as a reminder that the arms of community are open to everyone, mothers and parents of our youngest gather for support. Other small groups, such as our Immigrant Welcoming Action Team, our Social Justice Class, our Outreach Committee, our Physical Assets Committee, our Executive Committee, our Church Council, and the Church Staff gather to outline necessary tasks and discover God’s calling to us as a faith community.
And while these communal gatherings are critical to the strength of our spiritual container as a faith community, as the Body of Christ in a chaotic world, I find myself wondering about “keeping current” with God, about deepening my relationship with God. My Spiritual Director recommended The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ. The daily and weekly practices use the tools of scripture and prayer to create and sustain a conversation between individual and Creator. It is worth noting that there was a time in my life where opening myself fully to God’s will terrified me. I was so afraid that God would not provide or allow me to have something I was sure I desperately needed. Forty years have changed that terror into a deep desire to know God and to be known by God in the fullest manner possible.
In this season of Pentecost, where we re-introduce ourselves to the presence of the Holy Spirit, trusting that its presence will carry us through the Ordinary time, I wonder how your “keeping current” practice will manifest itself in your lives. And whether your practice is through a walk, through journaling, through singing or gardening, through conversation with another person or prayer with God, I hold hope that you will feel the loving arms of our Creator around you and that the gift of each moment will be filled with love.
In Christ’s Service,