God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How Do You Measure a Year - In Miles

Five hundred twenty-five thousand / Six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand / Moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand / Six hundred minutes
How do you measure - measure a year?
In daylights - in sunsets / In midnights - in cups of coffee
In inches - in miles / In laughter - in strife
In - five hundred twenty-five thousand / Six hundred minutes
How do you measure / A year in the life
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love
Seasons of Love - Rent
3,336 miles.
When I look back over the year I was struck by this number. That is how many miles I drove last year on church related business.
3336 miles – miles where I met with families experiencing the death of a loved one and walked beside them as we said goodbye and grieved.
3336 miles – miles where I brought communion to those who are unable to come to church anymore. Those miles to those at home, in nursing homes, in assisted living, represent conversations where life stories were shared, where prayers were shared and the sacraments were given. Those miles have countless memories of laughter and tears, prayers and fears, food and wine.
3336 miles – miles where I met with other pastors and laity whether to support each other, learn from each other, gather together to remember we are connected to one another. These miles include trips to places where clergy prayed together and were refreshed. These miles include meetings of the larger church where I met people I see three times of year who share their hopes and worries for their church. These miles led me to learn new ideas for ministry and to be inspired by the work of others. These miles include Association Meetings, Conference Meetings, Boundary Training, Local Clergy Cluster, Committee on Ministry, Clergy Day Out.
3336 miles – miles that included opportunities to serve others, where I had the privilege to help make life better if only for a moment for those who have less than we do. Those miles allowed me to help with Feed My Starving Children, Crop Walk, Beloved Community Dinner.
3336 miles – miles where I went out to eat with members of congregation. Where over food we shared our stories pieces of ourselves.
3336 miles – miles that include community events and worship services. Where I am part of the local and larger community.
3336 miles – miles that don’t include the trips I have taken to be inspired and refreshed by the beauty of God’s creation, the creativity of God’s people in art, film, and music. Those miles help to inspire me, to inform my preaching and thoughts, to allow me to pray and breathe deeply.
3336 miles – this doesn’t include the footsteps that lead me to worship, dinners, confirmation, potlucks, movies. These steps I take to our church include times where we gather weekly to be inspired and challenged, where we gather to rest in the presence of God and experience the love of God poured out for us. These steps include times where I volunteer for HAFP putting away food or giving food to those in need. These steps have led me into deep conversations and also times of laughter. These steps led me to times when I provide comfort and times when I listen to you and for God.
3336 miles – How many mile and steps have you taken this year to share God’s love?  The early followers of Jesus were called people of the way. The way – Jesus taught them to use their steps, their days to follow his teachings, to reach out to the hurting, the lost, the least. Jesus invited his followers into a life of service to others. We too are called to be people of the Way. Will you uses your steps, your miles to follow the example of Jesus: Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people (Matthew 4:23).
Pastor's Annual Report for St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Hinckley.

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