A powerful, thought-provoking insight....

Give me a well-trained tongue that has been borne out of silent listening in the sanctuary of my heart.

~ sevensacredpauses by Macrina Wiederkehr

Friday, June 15, 2012

Stepping Out in Faith

After three years, a year and a half of those as a commissioned minister, I am stepping away from my position as Director of Caregiver Spiritual Support at First Christian Church of Decatur. I have been listening very deeply to God, friends, and colleagues over the last year in an attempt to stay close to God's call for my life and this ministry. This past February, in a conversation with my pastor and mentor, he suggested that I "go back to the basics." I took his advice and began taking the Caregiver Spiritual Support Ministry back to its basics: prayer and listening. I prayed and listened. As I met with folks who had an interest in the Ministry, it became clear to me that my time as its Director was coming to a close.

With this transition away from the Caregiver Spiritual Support Ministry to which I was commissioned, I am also taking off my robe and stole. This is a painful step for me because my role as a pastor brought me much joy. I enjoyed marrying folks! Yet, what has dawned on me while working my way through this river of grace is that what actually brought me so much joy was the time I spent with the good folks at Northlake Gardens Assisted Living residence, many of whom are cognitively challenged. This insight is bringing me back to the basics of God's call on my life: bringing a ministry of worship to those living with dementia.

Since 2008 that has remained my passion; unfortunately, my passion became derailed as I directed a more generalized caregiver support ministry. Now, God is asking me to step out in faith, to return to my Spirit-led passion, and begin caring for those who have entered the great silence. My prayer is that I can become a resource to churches around the state whose congregations are facing the dilemma of how to care for those whose ability to communicate, to be an active part of the community has been compromised by dementia.

So, as I transition away from this phase of my ministry and away from the faith community which nurtured me into ministry, I grieve and I hope. I have hope and faith that God will place me where I need to be for whatever is coming next. I will have both hands outstretched to receive it.

I have no idea what God has in store as far as a commission; perhaps it's time for me to head to seminary to become a fully-ordained minister. What I do know is that God is good; God is gracious; God gives us abundantly far more than we can ask or imagine!

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