When he was a toddler, my son, Liam used to like to make concoctions in the kitchen. While the adults had dinner in the next room, he would throw together items and ingredients, mixing them and then coming to get my assistance to bake them. Some were remarkably close to items one might make with a recipe and an intention. And some were simply not.
As we come to the end of this congregational year, I am struck by both how challenging this year has been and how much growth there has been. And then making that observation, and reflecting on my own life, I am struck by how often it is the case that these two things come together. In times of challenge, and times when we are called beyond the simple rhythms of our knowing, we often find the resources to stretch and grow and take on new ideas. Not perfectly, and yet this willingness to strive is its own form of goodness.
This year seems to me to be one in which, as we took on the first year of our make it so goals, we walked and that uncomfortable gap between our aspirations and our ability to achieve. I believe that is something that is happening throughout our society, as we figure out how to make institutions that were constructed for one part of a population work for all. It’s not a question of knowing the right thing to do, it’s a question about how the right thing to do has not yet been revealed to us because it is up to us to experiment and try and figure it out.
And I am grateful for people who take the time for kind words and those who are respectful enough to say the hard things right to me, instead to another. I am grateful for joy, celebration, new friendships and the duration of others as I finish my 10th year among you. I am glad for the things that were oddly good and even those absolutely inedible. This year has been that way as well—with events and new knowledge which will never be easy to digest and others which have fortified and nourished me more than I thought possible. I celebrate this year in our living tradition and this decade of serving in ministry among you. The beautiful, the brave, and even the indigestible. All of it.
In faith, Leslie