Well it’s the morning after. I find myself in a strange place…in a liminal time between knowing and not knowing. Of course I’m referring to the results of yesterday’s election. I’m sure the results will be decided before too long but in these hours or perhaps days I don’t know exactly whether to be happy for our country or to cinch up my belt and brace for the future.
Regardless of what lies ahead we must deal with our responses to the virus and the danger that the virus poses for each of us. And, we must continue to deal with the social impact of separation from each other. Many people have constructed a routine in which contact with others is minimized and planned according to the guidelines that our local government and our diocese think will protect us and others from contracting the virus. These guidelines, even though sensible, certainly interfere with the life I envisioned when I moved to Oregon.
As a deacon I am called to be with people. As a spiritual director I am called to be with people. Neither of these are entirely possible in these days. When working in a hospice house and in a hospital I came in contact with many people. But these possibilities are very limited at the moment partly because I am in the high-risk age category. In the months leading up to March my activities involved being in groups, exploring possibilities of ministry in the group. That has come to a halt. So in the last few weeks I’ve been mulling the question of how do I fulfill my ministry as a deacon.
I’m turning to you. You are the people who have been here. You know much more about this community than I do. What do you think? What would you suggest that I investigate? If you could minister to the community or the world what would you be doing? In my musings I found a few broad categories that I’ve been considering. Let them be fertilizer for your own thoughts:
• Peace (international, civic, racial)
• Children in Crisis (e.g., CASA)
• Pastoral care beyond the parish (e.g., Stephen Ministries)
• Food insecurity
• Social justice.
I’m sure you have additions to this list for God gives us prophetic wisdom to see and speak to what is not of God’s kingdom. Even though many of your ideas may still involve personal involvement with others those ideas should not be discarded. We will be in direct contact with other people in the near future and planning is always needed. I have time now in this liminal period. You and I have time to work through plans to bring Christ’s Church before others.
God’s Peace to all,