Tag Archives: discovery

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.trust in the slow work of god
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We would like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet, it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability –
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually – let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time,
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming in you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ:
This is from the wonderful little prayer book titled Hearts on Fire: Praying with the Jesuits. It’s a great book – highly recommended.

Advertisements

I can’t hear my call

The pastor has celebrated fifteen years of ordained ministry, having served in three congregations, including a student internship during graduate school. Coming out of seminary she was filled with passion and vision for ministry and a love for congregation and community. That was then.

Now, after nearly two decades, she’s not sure where to turn. Somewhere along the way her sense of vocation started to fade away. The things she loved no longer bring her joy. The relationship interactions, sadly, leave her empty and deflated. She desperately wants to love these people and this place, but she’s forgotten how.

Interestingly enough, many of the folks in the congregation seem to feel the same way, not just about the pastor, but about each others. The congregation has a general sense of surface affection that masks a deeper anxiety. They are warm and welcoming to newcomers, but have little energy or inclination for going deeper in relationship or providing lasting hospitality.

Over time, both the pastor and the congregation have lost a sense of hearing God’s voice calling and leading. They want to hear. They remember what it was like to hear. They even remember what they heard. But now, it seems that God has fallen silent. Their theology tells them otherwise; it says that God is now and will continue to speak, to call, to redeem and lead.

So the question comes: How do I/we learn to hear again?

++++++++++

The Institute for Vital Ministry exists to partner with this pastor AND the participants of this congregation – those who are asking these questions, but don’t know where to turn, and may even be afraid of the answers they might find.

We bring together agencies, institutes, organizations and practitioners to form collaborative partnerships that facilitate contextual learning in a trusted community of companion travelers on the journey of discovery and transformation.

iVM will help you engage, equip, and extend your ever deepening faith out into the community and world around you. Get in touch and let’s learn together.

Who is my neighbor?

A congregation of generous, warm, and loving folks sits in a neighborhood that has changed around it. In decades past many of the congregation’s active participants lived within walking distance, but over time the community transitioned, and now most of the folks in the pews come in from other parts of town. The congregation is also aging, and the members and staff are trying to figure out how to connect with their new neighbors. They say to themselves:

“We don’t know where we fit in the world anymore.”

(To tell the truth, many also don’t make meaningful faith connections with the people in the communities where they now live either. Is that the same problem, or a different but related one?)This congregation has read books and some of the folks have even attended conferences and workshops. They hear lots of great ideas, and get inspired to do amazing things for God. But somehow, when they get back home, they struggle to connect the ideas with where and how they really live. And all that energy and enthusiasm they felt with the hundreds of others who gathered for training – somehow they can’t manage to keep up that level of passion. They feel that they are letting down each other, their neighbors, and God.  The questions come:

  • How do we connect with our community?
  • How do we get to know them?
  • Who do they need us to be here?
  • What is God calling us to do here?
  • What should we do next?

The Institute for Vital Ministry exists to partner with the staff AND participants of this congregation – those who are asking these questions, but don’t know where to turn, and may even be afraid of the answers they might find.

We bring together agencies, institutes, organizations and practitioners to form collaborative partnerships that facilitate contextual learning in a trusted community of companion travelers on the journey of discovery and transformation.

iVM will help you engage, equip, and extend your ever deepening faith out into the community and world around you. Get in touch and let’s learn together.