From the Pastor’s Pen
Pentecost (which will fall on June 4 this year) reminds us that the grace of God is made known, not only in
what God does for us, but also in what God does through us. At the first Christian Pentecost the Holy Spirit
was poured out on the disciples, empowering a group of ordinary men and women to do extraordinary acts
of ministry. So enlivened were those followers of Jesus, that onlookers scoffed and attributed their energy to
the imbibing of spirits instead of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit; accusing them of being drunk on wine! We
can fall into the same habit of failing to recognize the Spirit of God at work around us and within us. We too,
can dismiss the sacred in our lives as something unremarkable.
During my last vacation, the diaconate planned a laity Sunday around the theme of Sharing Sacred Places
and Times in Our Lives. Several people related their own experiences of reading between the lines of life to
notice the Spirit at work, in what others might consider mundane events and moments. Perhaps their
sharing sparked some similar memories for you.
With the unanimous approval of the Church Council, I recently submitted a grant proposal to the Lilly
Foundation that would provide funding for a three month sabbatical during the Summer of 2018. The theme
of the sabbatical would be “Seeking, Finding and Sharing God in Our Everyday Lives as a Re-Creational
It promises to be a time for pastor and congregation to be enriched in our awareness of God’s
movement within our daily experiences. If the proposal is approved, I will have more to say later about some
sabbatical activities designed to help us all deepen our recognition of the Spirit’s presence at work among
God has given us Good News to share, ministries to embrace and service to do in Christ’s name. That is our
Christian vocation, and it is a challenging vocation. But, we have not been asked to do anything that is
impossible. God has given us gifts, resources and wisdom to fulfill the mission that lays before us. Some of
these gifts involve abilities to do wondrous things. Others do not seem so spectacular. But all of them are
important because all of them involve doing God’s will and making God’s love known.
Which is what the Church is here for.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Ray