Over the past few days while being here at St. Olaf College at the Conference on Worship, Theology, and Arts, I have reflected upon my calling, and reflected upon healing.  You know, when we go from place-to-place, job-to-job, friends-to-friends, we often go through some form of a grieving process.  We are trying to figure out what the next step is, where we fit in, we question, doubt, and fear the unknown or what’s next.  I moved in 2014 from directing worship to being the pastor of a three point charge.  And this week has allowed me to reconcile the two.  Yes, reconcile the two … just like your bank account: it needed to be reconciled, matched-up, balanced.  And I am here to say, and I am blessed to say, it is being reconciled at this moment.

My calling is to be a pastor, to lead churches in to worshipping the Triune God through whatever means are appropriate and make disciples.  My calling is to use my gifts of music, art, design, and public speaking to not only tell the word of God through speech, but through song, dance, art/sculpture/canvas, and whatever means are available in a present community.  This week has allowed me to understand that being a pastor has the advantage, and the availability to be healed from thinking one-or-the-other has be let go and grieved; they can be reconciled together to be used for the greater good of Christian community and discipleship.

So, as my sights begin to set on the closing of this week, and on the final two plane rides back to Belwood, I embrace my calling to pastor, my calling to lead, my calling to feel healing by God’s grace to continue moving forward and living into those wonderful baptismal waters; the baptismal waters where my strengths and gifts were planted, and continue to be nourished and sustained by the love and grace of Jesus Christ, with the communion of The Holy Spirit.  Thanks be to God!

I invite you to hear these two pieces from yesterday’s worship gathering … a gathering that renewed my spirit, renewed my call, refreshed my mind, reminded me of the knowing of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

  1. Ubi Caritas Et Amor St. Olaf Conference on Worship, Theology, and Arts Women's Choir & Congregation | Therees Hibbard, conductor | Ingrid Elzey, cello | Charles Gray, violin | Mark Stover, guitar | James Bobb, organist | © 1979 Les Presses de Taizé, admin. GIA Publications, Inc.; Tr. © 1995 Augsburg Fortress 3:54
  2. When Jesus Wept St. Olaf Conference on Theology, and Arts Women's Choir | Therees Hibbard, conductor | Ingrid Elzey, cello | Sebastian Surom, recorder | (c)1770 Perez Morton, text; William Billings, music 3:27