Thursday, October 21, 2010

Room for Transitions

When talking with one of my wisdom friends recently (wisdom friend means someone with more grey hair than me) they talked about how we often don’t make room in our lives for times of transition; we don’t consciously acknowledge and attend to the emotional space of life changes, be they hopeful changes such as a new job or new opportunity or tough changes such as the loss of someone or the physical or cognitive changes in ourselves or those we love. Too often, they said, we tend to expect the same of ourselves in these moments as we do in other periods of our life. Too often we don’t find ways to mark and face openly that which our guts are registering quite clearly. -- Todd Donatelli, Father of the Bride blog entry at Episcopal Cafe

Though discussing the upcoming marriage of his daughter, Dean Donatelli makes an excellent point about making "room in our lives for times of transition." However, when I think of transition I think about the last year of my own life and the life of this congregation. My family and I had the transition of moving to temporary housing in San Carlos a year ago and then moving again to the Rectory in September. While we are profoundly grateful for a wonderful house and it is wonderful to be able to simply walk across the parking lot to and from work, this has certainly been a year of multiple transitions for our family. Of course, St. Edward's has been in transition for more than 18 months since my predecessor and others departed. We've spent the almost the entirety of my time here attempting to live into our identity as "ransomed, healed, restored, [and] forgiven" people, and we're making progress in that effort. When I look back on the last year, I can hardly believe all of the changes that have occurred!

So, it is perhaps past time to give ourselves a little room to settle in to this transitional period. The first "room" will be our combined All Hallows Eve/All Saints Day service at 9 a.m. a week from this coming Sunday, on October 31. We will gather, we will celebrate, we will take a breath, and we will liturgically and literally break bread together at the Eucharist and potluck, respectively. The second opportunity for "room" will be a four-week series on "Being the Church in the 21st Century" that will be on Wednesday evenings during Advent (December 1, 8, 15, and 22) from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Hallstead Hall. We'll look at the various cultural shifts occurring in the world and how we as a church might not only survive but position ourselves to thrive in such a culture. More information to follow, and other opportunities for "room" will be announced as they occur.

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