Hello AHCC Family. It is a wonderful time to be vice moderator of Asylum Hill Congregational Church. We have a dynamic diaconate, an engaged executive committee, a wise and compassionate moderator, a committed staff, and spirit-filled clergy with brilliant minds. I watch in awe as the work of God and our church gets done. I feel God’s presence and guidance. I am confident the Holy Spirit is in our midst, that we are doing right and righteous work, and that, while challenges lay ahead, we are being blessed. Most of all, I feel like the energy that is coming from AHCC is resonating more and more beyond our walls and will attract loving people that will add to the momentum.
I had a recent experience on a task force that encouraged this enthusiasm. Often when you are asked to serve on a task force, your first thought is not necessarily enthusiasm. It seems we always ask people who are already very busy to do more. Have you heard this sarcastic saying? “The reward for good work is more work.” Well, let me share my blessing. It was a tough one. The task force members shared very personal and emotional experiences, hoping the other task force members could sympathize, empathize, or better understand alternative perspectives and points of view. We also tried using logic and facts to make our case. We could not reach consensus. It was tough. We struggled to agree on the way forward. However, in the process of respectful discussion, listening, and discernment, we found so many foundational things upon which we agree. These include that we want to work against racism. We want to find ways to support justice in our communities. We want to do the work to be good neighbors and stakeholders in the Asylum Hill neighborhood.
We take on challenging issues and decisions when we try to discern God’s will, and how we can best support a mission we can never truly understand. I simply pray and have faith that God will find a way to use us – the imperfect tools that we are. I believe that when we engage, as we did on the task force, with humility, respect, good will, and positive intent, we make ourselves available for God to guide us. As the words of one of my favorite gospel songs that our choir blesses us with periodically, relays, we must let God “order our steps.”
Perhaps AHCC will serve as an example of what the world needs today – civil discourse, good will, and love for our community.
Please keep praying for AHCC, our leadership, and for me.
God bless you.