This weekend, our family will be traveling to Cape Cod to honor my mother-in-law, Phoebe Soule, who died in early June, with a celebration of her life. The Order of Service has been finished and is being printed, the arrangements for the reception and housing of the family are complete. But my husband is deep into the process of digging through family photos, letters from the late 1930s, Sunday School certificates, and more, to put together a photo display that we want to share at the service.
The more he digs, the more he understands his mother’s life story…so many things that he, and we, loved and celebrated about her come into clearer focus…all these different parts of her amazing life.
And it’s the same way with churches. Part of the job of interim ministry, and interim religious education ministry, is to dig down, find out the history of things, find out why they are the way they are. Some of you know that old story about “mother cutting the end off the roast.” In the story, people in the family want to pass the recipe on, and they keep asking family members why the end of the roast was cut off. Finally, as the elders are tracked down, the answer comes forward: “Because the pan was too small,” says the great-grandmother. Ah yes, now it all makes much more sense!
Well, I’ll be asking lots of you questions that are meant to find out more about why you do what you do, why it’s important (or not), what you might wish for in this time and in this place, and so on. Send me a note if you want to talk (to firstname.lastname@example.org) , or make an appointment to come and visit, or let’s meet for coffee. I want to hear your stories, know what you value in this faith community, find out what you hope for as you think about what a dynamic and empowering religious education program looks like.
Playing off the writing of Mary Oliver, I encourage you: “Tell me a story – yours, and I will tell you mine.” Let’s talk, explore, and learn from one another. It is all part of this rich journey of the spirit.