Friends, I invite you to share your comments on these Afterthoughts at the bottom of this web page. I would love hear what you think! brad+
If you didn’t notice the floral arrangement behind the altar this past Sunday,
you missed a thing of beauty.
Unlike most Sundays when there are flowers placed to decorate the chancel space,
this Sunday we had a cornucopia.
It was something that the altar guild had talked about in years past.
And put into practice this year (thank you Cheryl Tadman).
The cornucopia is a symbol of abundance.
It is a reminder of the blessings of life.
That’s why I liked its presence in the chancel.
We are a blessed people.
A people of abundance.
This year has definitely been an example of this.
Remembering those we have lost;
Those we love but see no longer.
On Sunday I spoke about not wasting the gifts that life gives us.
Whether they are borne out of joy.
Or a result of suffering or tragedy.
Don’t waste them.
Even when we wonder what could possibly come of them.
If it is something that is joyous,
Keep that stored for times when you feel that you are struggling.
Many times in my life I have been very thankful for friends and
and the gatherings that happen.
I truly am grateful for these moments of community.
For the beauty of being with good people.
Of enjoying pleasant company.
When I moved back to Nevada County in 2002,
I was a youth pastor at a local church here.
The church was large,
And the youth group vibrant.
During my time there, I made many friends.
Went to beautiful weddings.
Attended graduation parties to celebrate the next season of life for the grads.
Shared meals with some great families.
When I resigned from that position,
Most of those opportunities were lost.
Pastoring is weird this way.
It is, in a certain sense, conditional on the position.
I am not saying that the relationships and experience were not real or good,
They just required currency.
They required work and community.
Being a part of that community.
Which I was not.
So, the opportunities were lost.
And I found myself in a space that felt lonely.
I looked around and realized that I was alone.
I remembered the many times I had been blessed
with the company of true community.
It centered me.
Made me grounded in faith.
It reminded me that I had experienced the joy of community.
And that, in time, I would experience it again.
Which I did.
And continue to do.
And when I think about times of struggle.
When I think about the difficult things that have been challenging,
I look to see where the blessing has come through it.
I spoke about the gift of my divorce this past Sunday.
I would never have wished that season upon anyone.
It was destructive.
And I hate divorce.
And so does God?
But, it happened.
As I look at my life,
And that season of divorce,
I realize that I would never have met you all if I had not gone through that.
Without the marital difficulties,
I would not have wandered into Holy Trinity some 15 years ago.
I would have never experienced the love
and welcome of this community of the faithful.
I would have never been ordained in the Episcopal Church
I would have never been chosen as the priest here.
And I would have been a lesser human because of it.
You all are a blessing.
A cornucopia of love and kindness.
Of generosity and compassion.
A people who have taken care of one another very well over the years.
So, let us continue to share this abundance together.