Since my last post I have traveled to Philadelphia Seminary and back on a journey to meet with bishops. A couple of weeks ago I learned that in our churchwide regional assignment process for graduating ELCA seminarians, I was assigned to Region 7 of the church. On Saturday my husband and I gathered with over two dozen other seminarians and loved ones, a chance to meet those who had also been called from across the country to the region of our church that spans Eastern Pennsylvania all the way north to Maine. And by across the country I literally mean people who came from all corners of the country, California, the Plains, the Midwest, South and the East. From all walks of life and experience but who will be knit together with all of the others serving the church, but particularly as those who will gather periodically from across Region 7 for education and fellowship. Each of us knew someone else, and then we learned all of the connections we had in common. And then to bond in this weekend in the common experience of interviewing, worshipping, fellowship and waiting to hear the name of a synod that was claiming us.
On Sunday my prayer prompt was from Ecclesiastes and encouraged me to talk about times I have felt the aches and pains of life, but really I would rather think of the seasons of all of our lives. And with all of the other praying going on, well, I skipped the writing of the day.
And after a wonderful day of sacred conversation, and hearing others hopes, dream and fears, and some of the best hymn singing ever, I really could not do that time justice.
At the end of our time together we each heard our name called, and then quickly huddled with the staff of the synod who was calling us, and then before long it was back on the road again, and calling, texting loved ones, friends to share our news. It was then I could see just how many people I needed to tell, and then I could really see between the phone, texting, Facebooking, emailing how many people have been keeping me and mine in prayer.
To share how blessed we felt, the joy of hearing someone tell you there is a place for you and to put real live faces with names and figures.
I know I am assigned to the Northeast Pennsylvania synod and in words I have learned that there is a hope for how I will begin ministry there.
Which is a long lead in to today's prompt of John 1:1-5 and the word made flesh and nothing really profound because I am tired, but it is a good sense of tired:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
is more than words,
is more than ideas
though it all began with words.
Your life breathed into words,
breathed into existence
our very existence
and everything we know.
Your Word in others
brings words to life in the form of people
who call us from places where we struggle to know you
where we wonder about your purposes
and what is real.
Your Word reminds us that we are a people.
We are your people
Who come to life through others
When you call our name.
When we hear again your promises.
And in humbled awe we light up
and give thanks for the words and the Word you give.