There’s no doubt about it: 2020 was a tough year! It was as if, beginning last March, we entered into a perpetual Lent, a dark and cold winter that never seemed to end.
If you recall last year’s annual meeting, we heard from those of you who had participated in our Mission Abbey Pastorates, groups that were designed to capture the hopes and dreams of those ministry opportunities we envisioned for our Mission Abbey—for our garden and soft spaces, for nurturing our mental health, for developing partnerships with local ministries, for church planting, for healing prayer, and much more. The level of excitement was inspiring!
And then COVID hit. That’s when all this momentum seemed to go underground. Like the rest of the world, our normal church routines and programs were severely curtailed and revamped due to COVID restrictions, creating an atmosphere unconducive for “church as usual.” And we’re still not out of the woods yet.
But just because all that momentum came to a screeching halt, that doesn’t mean the Spirit ceased his workings. For even in the darkness, even in the waiting, behind the scenes and under the surface, the Spirit has been preparing us for a new day, a new season. I like to think of it as “The Emergence.”
As I look toward the months to come, I anticipate a burst of spring that will reveal all that has been stirring underground throughout these winter days. The Spirit has been busy: Immigration Services has finally opened its doors to the public; our Catalyst Team has solidified our first church planting curacy; our healing ministry crew continues its training and practice; a discernment team is being forming around Kevin Vailes and the possibility for his ordination; and countless others have used this season as an opportunity to grow in faith and service to others. I can only imagine what will emerge before our very eyes.
Get ready for The Emergence!
We can expect these underground stirrings to emerge in new ways in the months to come. In each of these, know that there is an invitation: Will you join the Spirit’s work among us? Will you pray and serve as the Spirit leads? How will you be a part of The Emergence just ahead?