Pastoral Pondering Summer 2017
Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. Revelation 3 vs. 20
The words of the mission statement “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors” are woven into the tapestry of life and ministry here at Arthur United Church. In worship and in conversation, you have heard the words often included in liturgy and prayers, together we have been illuminated when we sing at least a few of the them, and often they have been used in printed material as we have shared in worship and witness during my time in ministry amongst you.
Together, we have considered them as we have sought out to live into active ministry, the ways and means to share God’s love within this community of faith, within the wider church, the community and the world.
I find a challenge in the words “Open Doors”, which has given me cause to ponder what the door is, and what does it mean in the context of our spiritual selves and in the spiritual life of the church? In my thinking, the words open doors, invokes anticipation of the passage from one space to another; or one place to another. I am encouraged that closed doors have the potential to swing open, even if they need oil from time to time, making it possible for easy movement allowing the coming in; going out, and making it possible for freedom toward transformation and change.
In her book “Open The Door” Joyce Rupp speaks of this opening up as a way to enable growth. She shares that it requires intention and awareness from the individual to experience the discovery in opportunity. Rupp heartens us to willingly open ourselves to extend a wide welcome to the Divine standing at the door of our hearts, knocking.
The Church in the World, The United Church of Canada and this congregation within it, is experiencing transformational change. I encourage you to consider how the willingness she speaks to, will make a way to a deepened experience of the Spirit at work, personally, as a community of faith and as part of the body of Christ; How might the “open doors” of this congregation express deepening trust, and continue to invite and create spaces of belonging for all.
This pondering is offered with the knowledge that it is my concluding News Letter submission as the called minister at Arthur United Church. Effective July 31st, I will be making a change in Pastoral Relations as I open the door to the knock of retirement and an openness to serving in another way.
During the summer months, may you be blessed with time to pause, and find moments to reflect on the gift of growth and recreation by the One who is Holy Mystery, Wholly Love.
With my thanks and prayers for God’s Blessings,
Rev. Gail Clarkson Diaconal Minister
Open Hearts, Opens Minds, Open Doors
Arthur United Church