Joy, Gratitude, Wonder, and Awe
My heart is filled with joy and gratitude as I fondly remember our five-year anniversary cerebration. In worship, Davina and our children shared memories of the last five years and gave me flowers. Look at those great pics in our fun narthex lunch space; Judy and Bev served delicious cucumber sandwiches. Eli spoke of amazing times with the youth group. So many hands and hugs. And…and…. I am still rereading the memories you put into words, (I hope to respond to each one, in time). Some who have moved away sent notes; homebound sent emails. Thank you thank you thank you. Thank you to the 45 humans who have joined in the last five years—and to the many who have loved Westminster for years.
On Pentecost, we gathered in our outdoor sanctuary. The sun was bright, the fire lit, the wind gave us a breeze, the Spirit stirred our souls and we committed ourselves to another year of being church together by giving our kindling, symbolic of our lives, to the fire.
Joy, gratitude, awe, and wonder are emotions felt in spiritual experiences. “Emotions provide a much better gateway to the spiritual dimension of our lives than beliefs” writes psychiatrist and researcher Dr. Larry Culliford.
Your pastor's heart this week? Gratitude. For all of the above, and more. I am grateful Bonnie officially joined, and for all the other Southminster faces I see in our pews. I share in Tessa’s and Dylan’s joy that they are graduating high school. And I remember well the sadness and excitement of decorating a dorm room. My heart loved meeting the families of Westminster legends Pat Schmidt and Betsy Scruggs. The Schmidt family wanted to give to something specific for our building, (they funded the our sanctuary ceiling fans when their dad died several years ago). I shared with them our dream of renovating the gym renovation, how we need a new balcony rail and carpet to make that area usable again, and new narthex space which would include a coffee bar; they chose to give to the coffee bar. (Wasn’t it fun to see the narthex filled with conversation and food and laughter around round tables?!) With more donations and bequests we will be able to keep moving forward!
My heart has felt sad this week when I visited Mary June; she is quite frail. On June 11th she will be 91. I am sad Jennie had to say goodbye to Knial so suddenly.
My heart is excited about the future of Westminster—and getting to baptize Athena on Sunday.
May we trust the Spirit dancing with us. Life is always filled with the daily dance of joy and sorrow. Even so, as I said in a sermon, “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world”...wouldn't have lovin' y'all!