I’m in Kilgore, Texas this morning. I drove over 200 miles yesterday afternoon through peak, for Texas, East Texas fall. After breakfast at the Hampton Inn, I’ll pack up and go preach and celebrate at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Afterwards, I’ll meet with the leadership of the church and listen and dream with them about what God might have in store for them. Then I’ll drive back home dreaming and imagining about how we all can better partner with God and God’s mission.
I love my job.
A year ago today was my last Sunday at St. Mary’s, a place I’d loved and called home for over twenty years. A place where I’d drive three and one half miles each Sunday morning to preach and celebrate and listen and dream.
I loved my job.
In the year of my pause from my relationship with St. Mary’s, what one parishioner described as a gap year, I have only been back once, with permission, to attend the funeral of a beloved parishioner. It is the way of rector partings.
Yesterday, I wrote the Senior Warden and the Interim Rector for permission to worship on a Sunday morning at St Mary’s during Advent. As God would have it, it’s a rare Sunday that has not already been scheduled, and I am open-calendared.
A baby with whom I have two decades of family connections is being baptized, and the parents invited me to attend. I officiated at the baby’s parent’s marriage and prayed with others for years for this precious girl’s birth in into the world.
If given permission, the third Sunday of Advent, I’ll drive the twenty or something miles from my new home, past my old home, to a parish that is now one of the over one hundred fifty I now serve. I’ll worship and pray and dream. And live some of God’s great yeses to prayers.
I love my life.