The crocuses are in bloom, the daffodils are starting to burst forth, and the trees are glorious in their blossoms. Spring has sprung!
In the calendar of the church year, we are currently preparing for Easter Sunday in the season called Lent. Lent is a time to be intentional about our prayers, how we use our resources, and how we care for one another. It is a time to take stock of who we are and how we would like to live our lives from this day forward.
I have been reading a book titled, “SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life,” about the many ways we fill our calendars too many commitments, and our homes with too much stuff. The author, Julie Morgenstern, encourages the reader to address the root causes, the reasons for why we need to be so full in our homes, and in our calendars. What does that mean to us? Why do we do it? Simply noticing what we do is sometimes enough for us to change. Or we may need to delve deeper into the ‘why’ of what we are doing, so that our efforts at cleaning out the extras from our lives will last long into the future. One helpful idea of the author’s was to identify a name, a theme, or a mission statement for the next season of life. Then, when looking at the stuff, or the calendar, it becomes a simpler question to ask if that activity or thing, will be helpful for living into the mission of the coming years.
In Lent we are also offered the opportunity to look deep into the why of what we are doing, to clear our minds, our schedules, our homes of all that does not conform to our values and our mission for the next phase of life.
Churches are a lot like humans. We have activities and things we do that may have been best suited for a previous mission statement. What is it that we truly need for our next phase of life in this place, for the “new thing” God is beginning among us? What will best serve us in the new future God is calling us into? I invite you to ponder those questions as the Session does the same.
The book, “SHED,” was recommended to me by a presenter at the “over 50” pre-retirement seminar that I attended in January. Many of you have successfully navigating the “lightening of the load” or the “down-sizing” of retirement. That will certainly be a challenge in my home when that day comes. However, the book spoke to me for another reason. It reminded me of a wise mentor who once told me “don’t neglect the margins,” which meant “don’t neglect to leave room on that schedule of yours for the unexpected, and for the time you need to simply sit and breathe.”
If we are to find that mission statement, that direction for the next phase of our lives together, we need to take the time to breathe, to pray, to sit in the glorious sunshine of springtime and let our minds wander a little. What is the ‘new thing’ that is bubbling up at Edmonds Presbyterian?
May God bless you richly as you ponder your journey this Lent, and as we ponder our congregation’s journey.