Update: The church continues to flourish. We took in five new members on Easter Sunday, and we’ve begun semi-regular social events. I was not selected for the retreat, but have reserved space at my favourite retreat center and will be heading there in a week or so.
On a personal note, I am in a new, wonderful relationship. Beloved is amazing; she is the partner I never thought I would find. She is committed to Christ, is intelligent and intellectual (not the same thing), willing to commit to our relationship, willing to take on the role of pastor’s spouse, a caring and involved part of my discernment, willing to be vulnerable and share her discernment process with me as well. In short, we are more compatible than I ever thought to be possible in this world, from our tastes in food and literature to our life goals.
I have continued my discernment down some surprising roads, which have proved fruitful and rewarding. I haven’t made any decisions yet, preferring to wait, like Anne Morrow Lindbergh, on the gifts of the sea. I will probably have something more to say about this after the retreat. At the moment, let me just say that one path that has opened to me (and is looking very much like the right path) is one of immense change. I am not so fond of change anymore, especially change that may involve a fair amount of tears. However…as God calls me, so must I go.
Because Beloved is involved with her church, we worship there as well as another congregation we have found to feel like home (we alternate Sundays); and then to River City for afternoon worship. The opportunity to simply rest and worship has been a tremendous gift. I know some pastors can lead worship and be present for worshipping at the same time—I have a difficult time with sustaining that through a whole service.
And another thought…I am having an Important Birthday tomorrow—reaching 50. This milestone has added urgency to my discernment quest. If there is to be a major change (undecided at this point), then I had best be about it before I run out of time to actually minister!