Traditionally, I take this time in the middle of the Christmas season and the end of the calendar year to reflect on all the news events that have occurred over the past 12 months. But that's really not where my head is at these days. I don't really feel like glancing backward on this sixth day of Christmas. I'm not entirely sure why that is, but I am much more eager to note that while some things are ending, there are also many beginnings in my life.
For the past week or so, I have been in the process of saying "Good-bye" to my life at St. John's Episcopal Church in the diocese of Florida as I transition to being a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in the diocese of Georgia. I've been in email correspondence, had lunches, chatted via Facebook. I have had to repeat the same mantra, "No, nothing is wrong. I am not angry with St. John's, the clergy, staff or parish. I am attempting to respond to where God is calling me to go." For some people, this works. For others, there is more discussion necessary. For many, there is sadness at what is really a sad state of affairs: if you are an LGBTQI person, and you feel called to ordained ministry, you must answer your call somewhere other than Florida. Period. The weird thing is that this has been akin to the time when I was a child and I skipped fourth grade. I was still in the same school, but I was now with a whole different group of kids. I haven't physically moved away from Tallahassee, and, in fact, I am staying on to do weekday services as a Eucharistic Minister at St. John's. So, I'll be around. Just not actively involved in the major services. I have already shed buckets of tears over this. Now, I am seeing the door cracking open in my new parish.
OK, some want to give it a swift kick and pull me upstairs to rehearse with the choir right now! My voice, apparently, is quite noticeable in the congregation and choir members are ready and eager to get me to join in with them. Nice to be so wanted, so quickly!
St. Thomas is in a period of transition. Their rector, who has been serving as an interim these past few months, is retiring and a new one, Fr. Dwayne Varas is coming on board. And so, in some ways, I feel as though I'm starting my new church life north of the border in conjunction with this new rector. It'll be interesting to see how we journey together.
So one life ends, another begins. I don't know what will happen next, but I am trusting that it will all be alright.
From Morning Prayer today, Psalm 20:
|1||May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble, *|
the Name of the God of Jacob defend you;
|2||Send you help from his holy place *|
and strengthen you out of Zion;
|3||Remember all your offerings *|
and accept your burnt sacrifice;
|4||Grant you your heart's desire *|
and prosper all your plans.
|5||We will shout for joy at your victory|
and triumph in the Name of our God; *
may the LORD grant all your requests.