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Focus on Leadership: Reconciliation

One of the most difficult things in our human existence is admitting when we’ve been wrong. This is especially difficult if we are leaders and our organization is wrong, and perhaps has been for a long while.

In the Presbyterian Church (USA) constitution, we affirm, “‘The church reformed, always to be reformed according to the Word of God’ in the power of the Spirit.” (Book of Order, F-2.02). This means we are called to constantly and consistently examine ourselves and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When we find ourselves being guided to change, it is imperative that we follow the Spirit.

The Presbyterian Church has some deep wounds to heal over racism in the church, throughout the country. The only way we will be able to begin to address those wrongs is through some difficult examination, discussion and practice. But we have some good examples of places to start.

Our neighbor, the Presbytery of New Brunswick, along with the Synod of the Northeast, publicly apologized to and forgave the debt of Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church incurred through the discrimination against their first black pastor, the Rev. William Drew Robeson and the subsequent challenges that arose from that original discrimination. As part of the public act of reconciliation, putting words into practice, there was a joint service of Unity, Reconciliation and Healing. PC(USA) Co-Moderator, the Rev. Denise Anderson, talked about it in her blog.

Rev. Anderson also talks about the 222nd General Assembly’s repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery, which caused the Christian church to do irreparable harm to Native peoples of the Americas and the Pacific Islands. That repudiation includes apology, acknowledgment of the harm, and as we move forward, continued attention to including Native voices.

A church that is examining its own history of racism and brokenness is First Presbyterian Church of Montgomery (Alabama). In 2008, a new pastor and a desire for repentance began a process of reconciliation that began with an 18-part sermon series to start unpacking the theological, historical and practical issues that needed to be addressed. The process continues, and may never be fully complete. And that is part of being a reformed church, always reforming.

We are all broken. We all need to repent. But our brokenness is not the end of the story. Repentance and reconciliation are not simple, they are ongoing, but are who we are. Never finished becoming the people God created us to be and is loving us into.

Focus on Leadership: Finding Your Passion

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness
and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
― Frederick Buechner

You have probably heard this quote from Frederick Buechner before. Those who have been through PC(USA) seminaries or PC(USA) elder training (or both) will find it to be a favorite among our colleagues. It speaks to our hopes – that what we care about might matter to the world, that our passions can be used in meaningful ways.

Of course, what brings me deep gladness might not meet the world’s deepest hunger, but finding that deep gladness nevertheless is essential to our call.

Bloom Where You’re Planted

We know the disciples and the apostles that joined them as the early church was formed and grew traveled far and wide, which is why we know the story of Jesus. But after the Resurrection, the first place Jesus sends the disciples is home, to Galilee. He says he will meet them there.

Before they go anywhere else, they need to get out of the room they are hiding in, get out of Jerusalem, and go back to where they started. Jesus does not say why this is. Is it to say goodbye to their families before they begin to travel far from home spreading the Gospel? Is it to be reminded of who called them in the place they were first called? Is it to get back to their foundation before encountering a greater world and its cultures? We don’t know. But we do know it is important.

So, start where you are. What brings you joy every day? Especially think about what brings you joy in the work you do in the church. These don’t have to be huge successes, but anything that brings you joy as you practice, serve and pray together.

Explore The World

The apostles didn’t stay in Galilee or Jerusalem. They planted churches there, then went north, south, east and west, seemingly traveling both by land and by sea, based on Scriptural and non-Scriptural evidence.

As leaders, we need to stretch ourselves, too. This may mean traveling from our homes for short- and long-term missions, classes and training or visiting other churches and ministries. It may mean trying new things – exploring ministries you have not previously participated in, learning new ministry skills, or trying out different ways to be mindful or practice your faith each day.

Share What Brings You Joy

As you find what brings you joy now and stretch to find new ways to live out a joyful faith, share what you learn! Tell other people what brings you joy and encourage them in the things that bring them joy. God brings together people who are not all alike so that we might joyfully work together.

I may love to run committee meetings well (this is truly a gift) and you may love to bring life to an overgrown community garden. And we may not find joy in doing the other’s work, but we can appreciate the good work produced by each other. Leaders who find joy in their work will bring greater joy to the whole community.

_______________

Find your passions, don’t stop growing and stretching, and share your joy with each other. In these ways we will meet the deep hungers of the world.

Nominating Committee Request

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ in Newark Presbytery,

Could you help the Nominating Committee?

We are searching for a candidate for the Vision Accountability Board who has human resources skills and experience. If you know someone with those gifts, would you please have them contact one of us, or pass on their name and contact information to us so we may call them?

Thank you,

David Noble 248.229.9720, [email protected]
Valencia Norman, [email protected]
Martha Curry [email protected]

Holy Week in Newark Presbytery

Holy Week starts after Palm Sunday and ends with Easter Sunday. You can follow Jesus and the disciples throughout the week in the different gospel accounts (Matthew 21-28; Mark 11-16; Luke 19:28-24:12; John 12:12-20:18), and while many churches don’t have Holy Week services throughout Holy Week, some have additional services during the three days that make up the Triduum – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

As this great Presbyterian Mission Agency article talks about, worship during these three days is really all one liturgy over 1-3 services (most churches just do Maundy Thursday and Good Friday) and is not intended as historical reenactment but instead a meditation on the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. (If you want the full Triduum experience, check out First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell’s schedule!)

Join Newark Presbytery churches in this contemplation during Holy Week:

Newark Presbytery Holy Week Schedule

Here are Holy Week activities happening in Newark Presbytery (unless indicated, Sunday services will be as regularly scheduled on Palm Sunday and Easter – see church links for regular worship times). Find a church near you, and regular Sunday worship times, in our Newark Presbytery church directory, if not listed below. Contact the churches for more information.

Bethel Presbyterian Church
East Orange, NJ

Maundy Thursday
Tenebrae Worship
April 13
7:00pm

Bethany Presbyterian Church
Bloomfield, NJ

Good Friday
Worship
April 14
7:30pm

Bloomfield Presbyterian Church on the Green
Bloomfield, NJ

Maundy Thursday
Tenebrae and Communion Worship with Watchung Presbyterian Church, Bloomfield
@Watchung Presbyterian (park in the IHOP parking lot)
April 13
8:00pm

Good Friday
Worship with Central Presbyterian Church, Montclair
@Central Presbyterian
April 14
8:00pm

Central Presbyterian Church
Montclair, NJ

Maundy Thursday
Lenten Soup Supper
Meal, Fellowship and Worship, including Communion around tables
April 13
6:30-7:45pm

Good Friday
Worship with Bloomfield Church on the Green
@Central Presbyterian
April 14
8:00pm

Elmwood United Presbyterian Church
Elmwood West – West Orange, NJ
Elmwood East – East Orange, NJ
Elmwood Central – Newark, NJ

Good Friday
Worship
@Elmwood East (135 Elmwood Ave, East Orange)
April 14
12:00pm

First Presbyterian Church of Arlington
Kearny, NJ

Maundy Thursday
April 13
Dinner – 6:00-7:00pm
Worship – 7:00-8:00pm

First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell
Caldwell, NJ

Maundy Thursday
April 13
Seder Meal – 5:30pm

Right before the Maundy Thursday service
Suggested donation is $10 per adult. Children under 10 are free.
Please bring a dessert.

Worship – 7:30pm

 

Good Friday
April 14th
Prayer and Meditation – 12:00pm
Worship – 7:30pm

Easter Vigil
April 15
8:00pm

 

Easter Sunday
Sunrise Service – 6:15am
Easter Worship – 9:00am & 11:00am

First Presbyterian Church of Verona
Verona, NJ

Maundy Thursday
Worship and Meal
April 13
Love Feast, Hand Washing & Communion
Bring your favorite soup to share.
6:30pm

Good Friday
April 14
Worship – 12pm
Children’s Workshop -10am-2pm

$10 per child and $25 per family
Singing, Crafts, God Time, Lunch, Easter Egg Hunt

Grace Presbyterian Church
Montclair, NJ

Maundy Thursday
Worship

April 13
8:00-9:00pm

Good Friday
Worship

April 14
8:00-9:00pm

Easter Sunday
Easter Egg Hunt

(in addition to regular worship times)
April 16
9:00am

 

Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair
Upper Montclair, NJ

Maundy Thursday
Tenebrae Worship with Communion

April 13
7:30-9:00pm

Easter Sunday
Worship
April 13
9:00am – Traditional Worship with the Chancel Choir
11:00am – Family Worship

Prospect Presbyterian Church
Maplewood, NJ

Palm Sunday
Sensational Sunday
April 9
9:15am

Walk through the last week of Jesus’ life by visiting different areas of the church where scenes of that week will be shared through creative storytelling. Followed by worship.

Maundy Thursday
Tenebrae Worship with Communion

April 13
7:30pm

Easter Sunday
April 16
Worship – 8:00am and 10:30am
Easter breakfast after 8am service

United Presbyterian Church of West Orange
West Orange, NJ

Maundy Thursday
Meal and Worship

April 13
Meal – 6:00pm
Worship with Stations of the Cross – 7:00pm

Good Friday
Tenebrae Worship
7:30pm

Easter Egg Hunt
April 15
1:00pm

Easter Sunday
April 16
Worship – 7:00am & 10:30am

Watchung Presbyterian Church
Bloomfield, NJ

Maundy Thursday
Tenebrae and Communion Worship with Bloomfield Church on the Green
@Watchung Presbyterian (park in the IHOP parking lot)
April 13
8:00pm

Wyoming Presbyterian Church
Millburn, NJ

Palm Sunday
April 9
10:00am
Children’s Palm Parade & Easter Egg Hunt

Good Friday
Meal and Tenebrae Worship

April 14
7:30 pm

Easter Sunday
April 16
Worship – 9:30am & 11:00am

Focus on Leadership: Letting Go

As we get ready to enter Holy Week, many of us are preoccupied with the details of the week – worship services to plan and prepare for, a different schedule, Easter egg hunts, extra people in our sanctuaries and halls. We can forget to take it all in for ourselves – walking with Jesus into and through Jerusalem, eating with the disciples, following Jesus out into Gethsemane, and then into a jail, to his trial, and finally to the cross and the tomb.

We can so easily lose sight of what it’s all about. Not just the individual days, and events of the week, but why Jesus did all of it in the first place. Even when we take each day as it comes – truly diving into the practices of Lent, ending with the deep prayer and solemnity of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, and not skipping too quickly to Easter – we can miss the point.

The point being, we are called to submit to God’s will. Submission can be a difficult word. Too often in the church it has been used to abuse others. Slaves, women, people in colonized nations – all have been told to submit to God’s will, but a will defined by people who desire control and power over other people’s lives and bodies. This is not the example we see in the life and death of Jesus the Christ.

It is important to be very clear and very precise when we are talking about Christ’s submission to God’s will. For if we read only the conversation in Gethsemane, if we only hear Jesus’ words on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” we miss most of the story. We think that God’s will was for God’s Son to die. But death was not the will, rather it was the inevitable consequence of challenging the prevailing viewpoint of the world.

The values of the world are: Get more, Do more, Be more. Our pride, our ego, our self-worth are all tied up in making sure we are “successful.” But Jesus says: Love more, Love more, Love more. Love God more, Love your neighbors/enemies more, Love yourself more. And putting more love into the world generally means putting yourself out in front less (turns out loving yourself more is directly tied to loving others more).

We must let go. Let go of our pride, let go of our worries, let go of our need to succeed. Loving others does not always mean a happy ending. Human beings have a way of messing up the best things. But God loves us still. And that is what we are submitting to. A love that never ends. We can’t make ourselves perfect – through money or success or a perfect prayer life. We will mess up. And God will love us still. God will bring us back from the dead and breathe life into us again. Our submission is accepting an unconditional love, and letting go of the things that prevent us from accepting that love.

Focus on Leadership: Saying No, Saying Yes

A couple years ago during this same week of Lent, Lutheran (ELCA) pastor Nadia Bolz Weber wrote back-to-back blog posts on the spiritual practice of saying, “No,” and the spiritual practice of saying, “Yes.” The spiritual practices, indeed arts, of saying no and saying yes are applicable throughout the year, but Lent is an especially good time to focus on our priorities.

Do All the Things meme

From All the Things Meme (origins of this meme)

Lent is a time of examination, a time to shed old, destructive habits, and create practices that foster new life. A particularly destructive habit in our American culture is the habit of busyness. We spend so much time talking about how busy we are, how we never have enough time for ourselves, for our friends, for our families, even to practice our faith well. In truth, we probably both are overly busy and we like to think that being busy makes us important, that the world would collapse without us doing ALL THE THINGS.

Bolz Weber talks about our self-imposed pressure and anxiety to do all the things. To say yes to everything asked of us, especially as Christians who are here to help people, right? If we say no, people might think we are rude or selfish, so we keep saying, “Yes!” And this might work for a while, especially if you have a lot of energy and an open schedule. You can probably say yes to a fair amount of little things with a few long-term commitments, and sail along just fine.

Until you can’t. Until your family or work life adds additional or unforeseen demands. Until you can’t cross off some of those little things as you wait on other people, and they pile up. Until something unexpected comes us, throwing your whole tightly-woven schedule out the window. Until you realize you never should have said yes to that thing you couldn’t or simply didn’t want to do.

We feel so much shame around the things we say yes to and cannot complete. What if we started saying, “No?” People might be disappointed (getting volunteers is often not easy), but it is better to say no up front to something we likely cannot accomplish, than to say yes, and not be able follow through.

You can start being honest with yourself about your time, your abilities and the limits of those abilities. Just because someone asks you to do something doesn’t mean you can or should do that thing. Perhaps if we can’t find enough volunteers for something we need to rethink how we are doing it, or whether we need to do that thing at all. It can be a great opportunity for the people and organizations (including the church) around you to think about their own priorities and limits.

Saying no also leaves room to say yes. Yes to new opportunities, yes to things you want to learn or try that you didn’t have time for before. Yes to challenging projects that will take more time and concentration than you might have if you didn’t say no to a few things. Yes to simply taking time to stop and breathe, to remember why we do all of this anyway (hint: God – and right at the top of God’s commandments is the commandment to observe the Sabbath).

Lest you think this is a modern problem, consider the references in Scripture to making your yes yes, and your no no – Jesus in Matthew 5:37, Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:17, James in James 5:12. This is not simply about not being busy, but about being truthful about our boundaries so that we can be true to our yes, we will not let ourselves and others down, which can harm relationships, and so that we can live life in abundance – both taking time to enjoy God and what God gives to us and be ready for new adventures. And it is clearly a human problem, not a modern human problem.

Let us say no. So that we might also say yes.

Focus on Resources: Mental Health First Aid

One would think that if there was anywhere we could show exactly who we are and talk about our deepest joys and deepest struggles, it would be the church. And yet, so many ideas of who we “ought to be” as Christians become the standard of what we expect people to be within our church communities.

Instead of being vulnerable and honest around issues of relationships, addiction, insecurity, job loss, sexuality, mental health and financial security, we tend to pretend everything is just fine for the sake of not upsetting one another. How can we pray for and support each other if we don’t even really know each other?

While the Christian community has become more communicative around sexuality and our physical being, mental health is still a topic to be avoided, as it is in the world beyond our churches. Instead of waiting for the world to lead the conversation, wouldn’t it be great for the church to once again be at the forefront of conversations that lead people away from shame and secrecy into a practice of being whole together?

If your friend broke their leg, you would want to help as they needed, right? The same goes for mental health. If you know you could help your friends and other neighbors be full members of the community, wouldn’t you want to try? Also, if you were struggling, and you didn’t know why, wouldn’t it be a kindness to have a friend notice and work together to find answers?

These are some of the conversations church leaders are having, but with few tools to address conversations around mental health, much less long-term mental health need or immediate crises. As the Newark Presbytery Leadership Training Team discusses educational opportunities to offer, talking about mental health was a clear need.

Doing a mental health first aid training specifically for our youth leaders was a good place to start because there is already a cohesive group of youth leaders within the presbytery. We have been working to build a support system and programs for the youth and youth leaders in the presbytery, and offering such a training was a good next step.

Newark Presbytery has many small churches with volunteer youth leaders, part time youth leaders and elders in charge of youth programs. These leaders don’t always have the opportunities for Continuing Education or training that full time and ordained staff might, including and especially dealing with mental health. This training is accessible and available to anyone who works with youth. We encourage you to join us on April 8th. You can find more information on this event on the event page.


The Leadership Training Team is interested in partnering with other people and groups in the presbytery to support, enhance and publicize training events like this one. If you would like to share an idea, please email Rev. Mike Capron.

Focus on Leadership: Take a Breath

It’s Lent. What does that mean to you? Are you giving up chocolate or doughnuts? Adding in an act of kindness each day? Some other practice? No practice? Perhaps Lent stresses you out because you just want to do it “right” as a leader in the church. It’s time to take a breath.

Teaching elders and ruling elders bear equal responsibility of caring for the spiritual health of a congregation, working together to provide opportunities for spiritual growth, seeking out the lost, and setting the course of spiritual well-being. None of us can claim a perfect spiritual life, but too often our leaders are so busy making sure everyone else has what they need, we forget to take care of our own spiritual needs.

Sometimes we just need to stop. Stop everything we are doing, and take a break. We need to simply breathe, rest and take time to reflect. Prayer, reading Scripture, engaging (not leading) worship, resting our minds and bodies – these practices are necessary for us to be grounded in God and become whole. We can be doing all the “right” things, and feel completely disconnected from God’s joy because we do not remember why we are doing the “right” things in the first place.

So, take a breath. Remember what brought you to this place. What were all the small and great joys along the way – in worship, in fellowship, in service – where you felt the call to leadership in the church. Strip away all that doesn’t need doing today, and simply breathe.

Putting it into Practice

Let us lead this Lent by being people who take a breath, people who truly practice Sabbath. What about all those extra things that need to get done this holy season?

What about that new small group? Go, but let the members find their own calls to leadership in taking on new roles as facilitators. (Help new leaders breathe by encouraging them, and reassure them when silence crops up. Sometimes we just need to have some space to think.)

What about extra worship services during Lent? Do you need to fill every moment with active liturgy? Perhaps give more space to simple sitting and quiet contemplation. We all need more time to just be. (Help your members relax into this by encouraging breathing in and out, slowing down, quieting the thoughts in their heads.)

What about community meals? How will we make sure there is enough to eat? How many church meals have you been to where there hasn’t been enough food? (Help your hospitality committee breathe by grabbing some family-size cans of soup to have at the ready if need be. All will be well.)

Perhaps this Lent we give up perfection. We create a little more space for each other. Let go of the things that don’t need to get done TODAY, let there be times of silence, forgive ourselves for failures to get it “right.” Because, isn’t that what this faith is about? Love God, love your neighbor, love yourself, and when we get it wrong, take a breath.

Lent 2017

Lent begins March 1st, with Ash Wednesday, and concludes with Holy Week, April 9-15. We wanted to share some resources for worship, study and practice this Lent as well as what churches around the presbytery are doing this Lent.

We will post Holy Week schedules closer to Holy Week, as churches add Holy Week events to their schedule.

Resources

From the PC(USA)’s Lent resources page:

The season of Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and self-examination in preparation for the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord at Easter. It is a period of 40 days — like the flood of Genesis, Moses’ sojourn at Mount Sinai, Elijah’s journey to Mount Horeb, Jonah’s call to Ninevah to repent and Jesus’ time of testing in the wilderness. (The Sundays in Lent are not counted in this reckoning of the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter, as every Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.)

In the early church, Lent was a time of preparation for the celebration of baptism at the Easter Vigil. In many communities of faith it remains a time to equip and nurture candidates for baptism and confirmation and to reflect deeply on the theme of baptismal discipleship.

The PC(USA) is also offering a new curriculum aimed at youth to explore the theology and practices of Lent. Find more information on ‘Pray, Fast, Love’ here, and free downloads available in English and Spanish.

Carol Howard Merritt, a PC(USA) pastor, speaker and writer, has a new book out that is part memoir and part travel guide to healing spiritual wounds. Healing Spiritual Wounds takes you through Carol’s journey of faith, including the hurts and also healing found within. Questions in the book help guide you through your own path toward healing spiritual wounds, and there is a study guide that can be used on your own, or in a group.

LEAD, a ministry organization dedicated to building up, educating and encouraging leaders in the church, offers a wonderful blend of resources each season of the church. Art, devotions and liturgy for church and family use. Check them out here.

Lent Madness is just a little fun for Lent, started by a group of Episcopal priests, and is a “competition” based on the NCAA’s March Madness, pitting saints of the church against each other. Popular voting determines the outcomes, and you learn a lot about the saints of the church along the way. Not just for church history nerds.

Newark Presbytery Lent Schedule

Here are Ash Wednesday and Lenten activities happening in Newark Presbytery.
Contact the churches for more information and to confirm participation in meals or small groups.

Bethel Presbyterian Church
East Orange, NJ

Ash Wednesday Evening Worship
Wednesday, March 1
7:00-8:00pm

Bloomfield Presbyterian Church on the Green
Bloomfield, NJ

Lenten Small Groups
Soup and bread meal and lectionary study
5 Sessions:
Sundays, 6:00-8:00pm (March 5 – April 2)
Or –
Thursdays, 12:00-2:00pm (March 9 – April 6)

Central Presbyterian Church
Montclair, NJ

Ash Wednesday Evening Worship
March 1
7:30pm
Chapel

Lenten Soup Suppers
Meal, Fellowship and Worship
Thursdays, March 30, April 6 and 13
6:30-7:45pm

First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell
Caldwell, NJ

Ash Wednesday Evening Worship
March 1
7:00pm

Grace Presbyterian Church
Montclair, NJ

Ash Wednesday Worship
March 1
12:00-1:00pm
8:00-9:00pm

Presbyterian Church of Livingston
Livingston, NJ

Ash Wednesday Worship
March 1
12:00pm at Presbyterian Church of Livingston
7:30pm at Livingston United Methodist Church

Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair
Upper Montclair, NJ

Ash Wednesday Evening Worship
March 1
7:30pm

Prospect Presbyterian Church
Maplewood, NJ

Ashes To Go
March 1
6:00-8:00am
Maplewood Train Station

Ash Wednesday Worship and Meal
March 1
Soup Supper at 6:30pm
Worship at 7:30pm

United Presbyterian Church of West Orange
West Orange, NJ

Ash Wednesday Evening Worship
March 1
7:30pm

Wyoming Presbyterian Church
Millburn, NJ

Ash Wednesday Evening Worship
March 1
7:30pm

Focus on Leadership: Making Room

How much time do we spend complaining about traffic? About the crowded streets, about other drivers, about how it is slowing us down? When you are in that traffic, is your tendency to think about other drivers as adversaries or partners?

If we see them as adversaries, we are probably less likely to give people the space they need to merge or switch lanes. We might cut others off before they can do it to us, and we will definitely yell at them for whatever infraction they might incur. If we see them as partners in getting where we are all going, we might pay more attention to what other drivers are trying to do. We anticipate sticky spots where you know many people are entering onto one side of the highway, and will quickly need to exit on the complete opposite side, and make space for them. Likewise, we will pay attention to those entering or exiting, and make room or adjust our speeds to accommodate them.

It is likely we all are guilty of being adversaries on the road at one point or another. (And some wise people who know that they tend to be overly aggressive on the roads choose to use public transportation.) This doesn’t just apply to traffic, of course. We see this behavior on sidewalks and in grocery store lines, anywhere there is a group of people who all have their own ideas about how and when to get where they are going. It is usually exacerbated by our own busy schedules, too.

Does it ever feel like this in your church life? When you are in a committee meeting, session, or Bible study, does it seem like everyone has their own agenda? We aren’t really paying attention to the needs of other individuals, and assume that my needs apply to the whole group? If we see each other as obstacles to our desired outcome, we find ourselves in the same traffic jams we encounter on our busy roads.

Just as driving becomes smoother, and less stressful when we work together to get where we’re all going, seeing each other as partners in ministry leadership helps us all get where we need to go. Paying attention to the needs of those around us – in churches, on presbytery committees, in outside ministries – helps us make room for each other.

We may not all have the same hopes and needs on Sunday morning, Wednesday night, or other times we gather. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t work together to all get where we need to go.

Take some time to think about those around you as partners in growing and living out your faith every day, inside and outside our ministries. Really listen to one another, and see how we can help each other get where we are going. This might mean active encouragement, or simply creating space to experiment without judgment. We may find that our own needs were less important than we thought, or fulfilled in a different way than we imagined.

We will probably still be guilty of being less-than-pleasant in traffic or in line at the grocery store when we are in a hurry. However, we might find that we can get where we need to be in plenty of time, both in the church and out when we simply make some room every day.