This morning I had a decision to make. One choice was to attend the Cemstone Run for Others, a 5K or 10K road race at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, my old congregation. I co-directed the race for over ten years and the lead pastor, John Hogenson, invited me to attend. My other choice was to help with the spring cleaning projects at Resurrection Lutheran, my new call.
For various reasons, I decided to help with clean up at Resurrection. For one thing, the clean up would all be in doors, and this morning’s weather was raw with a cold wind and snow. I always enjoyed running in the Run for Others, but this year I am still in recovery mode and would not have been able to run. I certainly would have enjoyed seeing the many colleagues, congregants and community members at the race in spite of the weather. They are many deep relationships there for me.
Still I enjoyed my morning at Resurrection. Allison and Owen are two young kids who came with their dad, Ian, to help out. They vacuumed up the small metal shavings on the tables that Ian and I repaired. They also helped sharpen pencils and clean some of the carpet. At a recent new member class Allison and Owen helped me carry out some of the garbage and then we had a wonderful adventure exploring the nooks and crannies of their new church. Their participation along with the twenty adults who came made this a memorable morning for me. For me, a new fellowship of caring relationships is forming.
When a pastor moves to a new congregation, it can be tough to bring closure to the many relationships at the old congregation. I realize that has been a challenge for me. Yet the greatest joy comes in being open to the new relationships at Resurrection. This is where God has called me and where I plan to give my emotional and spiritual energy for many years to come.
Someday I may run again in the Cemstone Run for Others. But it wouldn’t be the day when Allison, Owen, Ian and I are doing our spring cleaning.