The writer of Ecclesiastes speaks into my reality, writing, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
My days away from ministry at EPUMC were filled with "every matter under heaven," and I am incredibly grateful for the time and space to savor all of it.
There was a time to Celebrate: As many of you know, my daughter, Abby, married her beloved, Collin, on Saturday, June 26, at a ceremony filled with family and friends. We savored the moments of joy and the love born of God that Abby and Collin share with each other.
There was a time to Love: Chad and I took a few days away from everyone and everything to be with each other and to nurture the love we have for one another. This seemed like a good idea when we planned it (flying out two days after my daughter's wedding), and we were right. This was good for our souls, our marriage, our love, and frankly, part of God's design for our lives as we attended to the relationship and the commitment we have made to one another.
There was a time to Rest: We took naps, walked slowly, savored time as our bodies dictated, and rested and relaxed. Rest is part of God's design for our lives, just as work is. The rhythm is important, and this time reminded me to recover a better rhythm so that exhaustion is rarer in our lives.
There was a time to Grieve: Our son's "father-in-law's" battle with cancer progressed faster than anticipated. We grieved with them in the hospital between the wedding the flight out. Then we grieved with them over Zoom as we planned the funeral. And we carried their grief and celebrated his life with them on Monday at a funeral and a party at the ranch they live on. We were grateful for the relaxed scheduled of vacation that allowed us to be present for these loved ones when they needed us.
And now there is time for our collective ministry. After two years of ministry together, mostly online, I long for a time to celebrate and love, rest and grieve, serve and work alongside of you. I am anxious to renew my efforts to put names to faces and learn your stories. I am excited to see what God is going to do among us as we transition to a new normal in our presence as the church in this place and time. I am hopeful for the people we will reach through our ministries partnering with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for vacation time. And thank you for being a part of whatever new normal God is creating in and through us.
Pastor Becky Jo