Weddings can be one of the most important and exciting days in a person's life. It is a day when two people vow to God and each other that together they will create a new life. The place where people choose to get married is also very important. Sometimes, a person wants to return to church they were baptized in, even if they live far away now, as is the case with our wedding for Kelli Lewis and John Kerkhoff. Other times a person returns to church or decides to join a church after time of not being part of a church, as is the case with our wedding for Aaron Lowe and Kelly Brown. Both cases are causes for joyful celebration and it is an honor and compliment when any parish is invited to share in the amazing journey of a couple who is getting married. Please keep our wedding couples in your prayers this month and well done St. Paul's in being not just a parish, but a vital part of the entire Episcopal Church.
Being the Church! Booklets available
Organ Console Under Construction
Blogging through Russia
Twelve pilgrims traveled to Russia with the Miami Valley Episcopal Russian Network, and I wrote about our travels most days and posted the entries on Facebook. Here are the entries collected in one place for everyone to see.
Big Impact through Sharing our Story
I believe all humanity shares not one, but many deep connections. These connections will remain hidden unless we begin to share our stories; once we start talking about how our lives connect with people and places, it can be amazing to see what deeper shared commonalities reveal themselves and the result is powerful.
Rector's Reflection: A Busy-free year?
On New Year’s Eve, Hailey asked me if I had a New Year’s Resolution. I told her I did not, because from what I see, New Year’s Resolutions are usually things people say they will do, and by the end of January have pretty much forgotten all about them. They might be excited about them on New Year’s Eve, but the interest doesn’t stay.
Instead of resolutions, I told Hailey, I reflect on the past year, and look for something I can let go of in order to be open for whatever the year is going to bring. In the past that something has been fear, worry, or trying to control the choices of others. Like cleaning the clutter from a room or home, deciding what to let go of can be a refreshing way to start a new year.
In 2014, what I am going to let go of is being busy.
Don’t get me wrong, I will still be doing plenty of things which I hope are productive. I am just not going to be busy.
The inspiration for this came from an article I read by Tyler Wardis called “Busy isn’t respectable anymore”. In this article he wrote about how overused the word “busy” is. How are you? Some will ask, or How you been? The most popular response is often the word: busy. Tyler wrote about how he liked using that word because it made him feel important, needed, valid, and valuable. In reality, he realized it was a way for him to avoid things that made him uncomfortable, or to avoid important relationships. He saw that being busy hurt not only his relationships with loved ones; they also hurt his profession relationships. When he would talk about how busy he was, he saw how that made others feel less important. He also realized busy-ness and productivity are not necessarily the same thing. This reminded me of something Christian writer and speaker Rob Bell said about busy-ness: that it has become an idol. Remember an idol is something we give ourselves to that isn’t God.
Tyler wrote about a friend of his who stopped using the word “busy” for an entire year and in that year found that he had to be more honest and authentic with his responses to the “How are you” question, which actually helped his business, and personal relationships grow and thrive.
To me, that growth of awareness and relationships is certainly worth the effort of removing the too easy to use word of “busy” from my vocabulary. So as we begin 2014, I am going to use words that better describe what I am doing, and pray that the façade of being busy can be stripped away from my personae so that more of my authentic self can be seen and I can be open to embrace the joys, challenges, disappointments, celebrations, and opportunities this new year will bring.
If you have made your New Year’s Resolution, I hope it doesn’t lose its appeal for you, that it leads you to growth and better health. If you are still looking for a way to approach the New Year in a way that opens your heart and mind to the knowledge and love of the Lord, I invite you to join in me make 2014 a year that is not busy, and with business out of the way creates space for growth and true productivity.
Happy and A Busy-Free New Year!