Growing up in North Carolina, every spring I would wait for the songbirds to begin their emergence from the winter quiet. I have vivid memories of waking up in the morning, before it was light, to a cacophony of songbirds ushering in warmer days and the emergence of the daffodils. For me, like many people, spring has always been one of my favorite times of year, mostly because of how much I feel alive when I can be outside. One of the richest parts of being a mother has been to watch the ways in which my children echo some of my traits and love some of the same things that I do; perhaps because God has knit them together in a way that is similar to me or they simply watch the ways I am and reverberate them. Hattie, my 8-year-old, also loves to be outside. She is at her happiest when her feet are bare, her nails reflect an afternoon’s digging in the dirt, and her brow is covered in dusty sweat. One of the things we have been able to do since moving here is to have a garden together. Ironically, we began this practice when the world lay fallow during the pandemic. And we have found the joy that comes from tilling our small plot of earth, sowing the seeds, carefully watering and whispering prayers over their tiny leaves as they begin to emerge.
I have noticed that the life of Church of Our Saviour is following a similar rhythm. While it was a vibrant community when we arrived, the pandemic and our collective lying fallow has allowed the “earth” and “soil” of this community to regenerate in new and exciting ways.
Together, we have waited for the songbirds to usher in a time for us to sow the seeds of new growth among this community. As we approach the end of another program year, our hard work of loving and investing, trying new things, and caretaking ministries has borne some incredible fruit: Sages, Acolytes, Adult Forums, Spark, the Sacred Garden, Laós Chamber Music, and so many more.
It is also clear that while we are not in the “fruit” stage of life for many ministries, there is still a lot happening. For some, like music ministry, we are still doing the hard work of readying the ground for new growth.
Transitional Housing, while the ministry is thriving, is in a place where they are saying goodbye to Bill Doulos, who dreamed it into existence. The Rev. Tim Hartley will caretake this ministry, bringing fresh energy and new ideas.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Just like our ministries, we are all in different seasons of our life. But God is still at work, no matter what stage. As you look around at our common life, where are you investing and deepening your spiritual gifts so that they may take root in your life individually and our life in common?
Howard Thurman, American author, theologian, and activist, said, “Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
For this place to continue to thrive as it has for over a hundred years, we need each one of you, your gifts, and the things that bring you alive.