by Andrea Pope
Do you like questions? I adore questions (good thing, my kids ask a zillion a day). A couple q’s at the front of my mind lately:
The first, from a friend: “What are you saying ‘yes’ to?”
The second, from me: “What are you excited about?”
Here are my answers, and I hope we can talk about your’s soon.
First, I’ve been saying “yes to saying no”. Boundaries are good, right? I especially love saying “no” to anything on Saturdays. I have a “sacred Saturday” thing, can you relate? Holy ground. Don’t touch! When buzz about MinneRevive got louder as the date got closer, my first thought was, “I think Trevor (husband) should really go to this. Totally his thing”. And then I ended up hitting send on my own registration, feeling like this was a right “yes”.
Second, I’m excited about two recent events: the State Fair (usually a big “no”, let’s talk about it sometime!) and MinneRevive/ordination service (they said I could talk about that here!). Beforehand, I was feeling a bit ambivalent about both, and they respectively ended up being wonderful and powerful.
Another friend expressed that MinneRevive mini-revived her, and I agree. Being together in that place in worship and learning and tradition mini-revived me to say yes, share my yes-es and shake up the sacred Saturday when needed. To re-connect with God, with the Church (“Big C”, as my hub says). Sitting with my scribbled notes, here are some soul-stirring phrases that stick out:
. . . From Bishop Ruch: “I want Anglicanism to be a Costco, not a Coach store!” (i.e. everyone is welcome, it’s everywhere and not elite)
. . . the church is a supernatural reality, with the anticipation of awe in signs and wonders
. . . add to our numbers, plant seeds, are we being hospitable?
. . . We’re called to participate, not just observe (Acts 2)
. . . from Canon Theologian Stephen Gauthier: “Whatever you have to give is enough – God does the heavy lifting and takes care of the rest”
Lingering most is the memory of sitting in stillness, surrounded by the body gathered from our diocese. Sitting in the sacredness of tradition, scripture, worship. Singing “Behold our God”, seeing the ordination candidates lie prostrate, the invitation of the Holy Spirit canticle.
Clearly we can’t all say yes to everything, AND we can share our yes-es with each other. We can’t be excited all the time, AND we can be observant and inspired by each other. I wonder what the people in pews around me have to say? Let’s ask each other, even if we weren’t there (hint: I sat by a couple of Jennifers who took copious notes). I wonder what you’re saying “yes” to, what you’re excited about (the Bible studies come to mind, I’d love to hear your stories).
I’m mini-revived about sharing my “yes” to Jesus. We are part of this Family and we are called to welcome others into belonging.
I’m mini-revived about belonging to part of this exceptional church body. I’m picturing a Bishop who wears Birkenstocks and wades into the sea of children to bless them with exuberant prayer. A Pastor who shares his heart with abandon during the ordination service and whose family envelops us with shepherding and grace. Everyone who serves from their own sacred spaces in various ways every week.
I’m mini-revived to keep making these memories, to say exciting yes-es together.
Yes to sharing Jesus.
Yes to sharing our belonging.
I wonder, how can we share each other’s yes-es? How can we keep belonging to the body, partaking and inviting and growing?
I wonder, how can we get excited together? Excitement can quickly wane, how can we keep it going?
Getting together seems like a good place to start. Yesterday I read a fitting quote about just that (from Organic Outreach for Churches): “We begin to love the world again and find our hearts stirred with longing for people to meet the great Savior who changed our lives”. That was MinneRevive for me, and I know there are myriad places and times for us to say yes and get excited – to share and welcome others to belong.