Monday, April 22, 2013

Shepherding in Various Ways



The best, most rewarding and sometimes the hardest part of being a pastor is the sacred spaces that people allow you into. Since Palm Sunday, I have spent more time walking, praying and just accompanying my parishioners at the hospital, the funeral home and in circumstances of life. It's a sacred and sometimes sad privilege to be let into people's lives like that.

Saturday the church council and I  went to Camp Penuel in Eldred, PA for a church council retreat. We are blessed to have such committed leaders. It was a really good retreat and I thank God for his work among us as we studied, prayed and tackled the subject of change and what that might look like at Bethel.  We also set some BHAGs--big, hairy, audacious goals.

Then yesterday was Good Shepherd Sunday and it felt strange to be away from church. I was traveling to S. C. for the Evangelical Lutheran Coalition for Mission in Appalachia Assembly as  one of my synod's delegates to the assembly.

It was a very long day. I flew out of Buffalo and then my connecting flight in Charlotte, NC was delayed several hours. About 12 hours after I left the house, I arrived at the hotel. My husband is home holding down the fort.

So, I am looking forward to these  days of the assembly. And I am looking forward to what God has in mind for God's sheep at Portville, NY. What a privilege to journey together as a community of faith.

The above picture is a Palestinian woman looking after the sheep, which reminded me of my years in Palestine and seems like such an appropriate image.


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