Last week we started talking about what is in store for all of us this summer. I started by addressing why doing storytelling this summer is important—it is an opportunity for us to practice the art of theological reflection and search for where God may be at work in our stories. Not only that, but this is an opportunity to get to know your Covenant Kin more deeply. This is also a time where I, as your pastor, will be learning and growing and come back better at what I do. Last week we talked about the month of May, now on to June:
THE MONTH OF JUNE: In the month of June the storytelling at Covenant will be focused on Fathers/Men and their relationships. The month will kick off with the Rev. Andrew Black preaching and presiding at Communion. Andrew was ordained at the same time that I was, and his ministry has taken on many different forms. He has often been a voice for faith and values in Washington D.C. We are extremely blessed to have him coming to lead in June! Then, over the next two Sundays of June, Dave Marks, Tom Mark and Lindsey Gilbert will be sharing their own stories on our theme. I have heard these gentlemen tell stories, and I have to say, you are in for a real treat! Finally, on the last Sunday of June we will be hearing from people involved in the story of Dismas House. This will allow us to go deeper into understanding our long-time mission partner and celebrating our continued mission together!
While you all are doing these fun things, I will be headed to Scotland. My parents and my sister and her husband will be joining us for the first part of this time, and we will get to spend some time exploring London and Edinburgh together. I have also made arrangements to do some learning at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh with their master storytellers. The other exciting piece of working with the SSC is that it is the primary location for Scottish cultural heritage—everything from Celtic dance and music, to folk crafts and Scotch whisky. This is a wonderful place to go deeper into the story of Scotland. Not only that, but this is an opportunity to go deeper into my family’s story. My grandmother has done a remarkable amount of genealogical work over the years, and now I will actually get to go and visit the places from which my family came and learn more about our story. This will also be a delightful time of play with Tiffany and the kids. We expect to spend time together doing fun things like visiting Castles and riding on the Hogwarts express (Gracie is super excited about that one).
As I have mentioned, one of the great values of this time is the practice of theological reflection. This is not only a time for the church to do this, but for me as well. I greatly look forward to this time to reflect on my story and on my family’s story. I look forward to this as an important time of discernment to see who I am now and how that is leading me into a new chapter of ministry at Covenant. As we grow and change throughout life, it is important to take time to ask who God is shaping us to be, and how we can best use those skills in service to God and community. The value of this kind of time of discernment (especially for a pastor) cannot be overstated. I see this as an opportunity to really grow and come back more prepared than ever to serve at Covenant.
I hope that these glimpses into this time of storytelling have you as excited as it has me. I see this as an incredibly special time for all of us to grow in our understanding of God’s presence in our story, and where God is calling us to next.