It's been a great couple of days. I've been feeling exhausted for awhile. But yesterday Integrity met. It's such a warm group of people. I celebrated the eucharist with close to my old energy. This is one area of my ministry I refuse to give up. I find it so life-giving. It is the part of ministry that I do for myself - where I am nurtured and cared for (and I realize that as chaplain it should probably be the other way around but I believe that membership and involvement in this group is God's gift to me to help me keep on a more even keel spiritually).
And tonight. What can I say. St. Paul's played host to the ministerial Taize service. This was our first and I wasn't sure how well it would go over. We provided the space and I provided the candles (Candles are my huge weakness. I have oodles and oodles of candles.) Our focus was a meditation on the cross. I never thought to set things out last week and just see how things looked. So tonight I set out the candles and took the cross from the reardos and placed it in the centre of the altar. Oops. Brass crosses do not show up very well when there isn't a solid background for them. What to do? I grabbed the Celtic cross from the meditation area. We could see it but it was so small on the altar. I sat through the practice trying to figure out a way to have a cross as more of a focal point.
Ask and ye shall receive. We have a wooden processional cross. It is a somewhat rough looking thing but it is painted with a gold coloured paint around the edges. My colleague and I managed to figure out a way of holding it in place right behind the altar. I lit the candles and the gold paint picked up the light. We had our focal point. One less worry for the night.
I wasn't sure how my people would respond to the service. This morning it didn't seem like many of them planned on attending. During announcements I told them that was not something that we wanted added to their list of things to do. Rather this was a gift from us (ministerial) to them. A chance for them to come and sit quietly in a break from the business of the season. A number of them showed up for the service. I think, from the comments, that they were very happy they did. Comments from others as they left have shown us the need for more such services so we will probably plan one for Lent.
It was so awesome. I sat at the back of the church looking up to the front with all the candles glowing. I listened to the people singing. We ended the service with a Gloria. It was so powerful. I have come home feeling energized whereas earlier today I was wondering how I would ever make it through the week.
These last few days, I have been truly blessed with communities that have helped heal me physically, mentally, and spiritually. I have been in such need of this healing. I give thanks to God for the wonderful people that I have been so blessed to know and work with and worship with. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Love and Prayers,