It's How Church Is…

Today I received the news of two deaths in our congregation.  Hank, who was so terribly injured in a car accident at the end of June died at 10:30 last (Sunday) night. And Gail, the father-in-law of a very active member passed away this weekend as well.  I also got news that our music director is recovering this weekend after having donated a kidney to a stranger. He gave life, even as our community is touched by death.

I am still away, at leadership school. Two congregants are here as well and we had some tears and took comfort in one another’s presence.  One of them said, “We may be in the best possible place to hold our sorrow.”  I think she’s right. We are surrounded by loving Unitarian Universalist lay leaders and ministers. We are also in a setting so beautiful it takes my breath away.

When I opened the email telling me of these deaths, the daily afternoon thunderstorm broke and the rain began to fall.  It seemed as though the very sky cried with me.

Hank and his wife, Alice, attended the very first Leadership School. When I asked Alice this week if she’d like me to stay close by, she told me in no uncertain terms that I should go–that leadership school was too important and too wonderful to miss.  And so now I feel I am here in a way that honors them.  What a privilege it is to lead a congregation!

And so, joy and sorrow intertwine.  As I minister to the people here this week, as their chaplain, it is certain they will minister to me as well.  As will the mountains.  And the rain.