Whew…I knew when I sat in the 102 boardroom at my “going away” party on August 23, 2012 that the ginormity of the leap of faith my family was taking would not hit me the next day. See I had taken my last week’s holidays and some OT to be able to take a week off before my last official day. Last official day you say of what?
The ministry God has blessed me with in walking alongside people growing hoping, building community and supporting change for the last 13 years at The Mustard Seed…where I have served on a college crew, dinner crew, volunteer, ran a youth ministry, worked as full-time Street Level Staff, relief staff, Street Level Manager, a Case Work Specialist, a prayer partner, donor, and my last call was as a Community Living Properties Team Lead helping to facilitate community in our two buildings, our Permanent Supportive Housing program and renewing our Missional Housing program.
Things were trucking along grand. I still remember it was about 11 years ago praying the rosary when I heard God’s voice calling me to renew the church. In my Bible College days with church plants all the rage I thought that’s what God wanted me to do. It was not, it was truly to be an agent of renewal.
As a minister within those exiting poverty, as a vocal advocate to the broader community educating all of God’s children (regardless of religious or non-religious affiliation)…It was a very Franciscan call upon my heart as I spoke and acted in a way to make this corner of my world a little bit better. Only time will tell if that truly happened.
As I sat with what true community is in ministry, a gathering of guests, residents, staff, co-workers, volunteers, and executives…looking at the gathering I had to smile for it truly was a Kingdom moment as someone who looked in at the gathering would be hard pressed to tell who had lived the experience and come out the tunnel of light, and who was called to walk into the darkness and accompany out of the darkness.
13 years ago I had no clue why God placed me at The Mustard Seed, with my social gospel and liberation theology ways…bordering on what some call universalism yet still knowing the Cosmic Christ resonating within my soul.
This was my ground of formation, but formation and learning in life are ongoing and life long. The seed was planted at the tender age of 8 to shake this world up and speak up/act for what I believe in…through my writing this became normative.
Then returning to the institutional church at 19 at the crossroads of crisis and hearing the still small voice letting me know it would be okay.
Then feeling the same voice as serving my first tray of food at the Seed to a former high school classmate and stating welcome home.
The seed was planted…
it now germinates…
The same still small voice calling me to use what has been learned to become equipped to journey with brothers and sisters as they reach the point of transformation in life.
So I have entered a time of sabbatical…to equip… for I am completing my Master of Divinity through Northwestern, then onto my Clinical Pastoral Education Unit so that I can become a chaplain to walk in hospitals, hospice, correction facilities, or extended care for in the heart of these places the Holy Mystery is working. Where I journeyed with those in healing, the germination of that planted seed is not learning and beginning the walk with those transforming.
Like a caterpillar emerging from the cocoon as a butterfly.