Vicar’s Message September 2021
Can you believe it has nearly been a year? I started last year on September 1st, and I got lost many times in the building. Now, here we are, facing new challenges and opportunities each and every day. I am beyond grateful for my time here at Grace, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds. This may sound like a transitional letter, and it is, but do not worry! I have no intentions of going anywhere.
When I first started at Grace, I was brought on as an intern completing her last requirement of my education. While I was permitted to graduate in May, I still have other processes to complete with the synod before I can be ordained as a full-fledged pastor. One point of the process is a final interview, which will take place in November. After that, I may begin interviewing for a full-time call. In the meantime, I am deeply grateful and humbled that Grace has decided to keep me on as a contracted vicar (my title until ordination) so we can continue to work on the vision and mission we share. I wanted to address this, as the process is quite arduous for everyone. However, there are many people in the synod working on Grace’s redevelopment behind the scenes. Together we will find our way forward.
Working towards unrealized visions and venturing into new ministries such as a wellness center reminds me of the story of Jacob’s ladder (Genesis 28: 10-17). Jacob’s life was complicated to say the least, and here we see him deciding to take a rest only to have a vivid dream. In the dream, he sees a ladder from which messengers are ascending and descending. Then God stands beside Jacob and declares God’s undying presence with Jacob. Suddenly Jacob wakes up and realizes the space he is in is the house of God, so he builds a pillar which eventually becomes a city. This encounter compels Jacob to promise one-tenth of the gifts he receives to God.
Similarly, we are in a period of visioning, while also starting to make changes happen. We are dreaming all that we can be in ministry and mission. We are starting to change our building to serve God. Much like Jacob, we are called to recognize the abundance of gifts we are given and give one-tenth to God. No matter what we do, though, we, just like Jacob, can awaken to the realization that this God’s house, that we are building something far greater than we can imagine in ways we cannot fathom. All the while, we are the messengers between God and our world, traipsing up and down the steps or the ladder bridging this world with God’s love.
Sticking with Jacob, he will later in his life wrestle with God or one of God’s messengers; we are still not entirely sure which one it is (Genesis 32:22-32). As we continue to wrestle with God and what our call to do God’s work looks like, let us all pray that we too would see God face to face, just as Jacob did. Let us pray that we could be the messengers delivering promises of God’s love wherever we are, knowing that such a spot is also God’s house. Wherever this journey takes us, I am grateful to be with all of you through it.