As we were getting ready to graduate, my friend Taylor, who had helped the ministry grow from the single-digits to the mid-teens, was worried. Who would take over the leadership roles when our core group left? Would the congregation dwindle again? Would all our work be for naught? Young as we were, I don't think we recognized these as the concerns of any person who moves on from a beloved project.
I said something like, "We planted good seeds. And they will grow, but we don't necessarily get to see the flowers bloom." This wasn't something I had thought about before speaking the words, but as they hung there in the air between us, I decided this was a philosophy I could embrace. As I recall, Taylor wasn't convinced.
On a recent trip to DC, I got to see the flowers.
Sunday evening worship is a lot like it was fourteen years ago when my cohort started leaving. The community is inclusive and caring. Fellowship of Sound is a glory to the ear (and "Siyahamba" is still in the repertoire). The hospitality is delicious. The building is round.
What today's community has that we lacked is a sense of tradition, the knowledge that the things they do are rooted in the things we did. They can go farther in exploration and innovation, key components of campus ministry, because of the structures we built and the support we continue to send through our prayers and our gifts, and occasionally our presence and our service.
Right now, so many areas of my life feel like sitting in the mud with a packet of seeds, and sometimes I'm overwhelmed by all the things for which my trowel is inadequate. My brief sojourn with this community was balm for the soul, a reminder that my contributions can lead to beauty.
|Photo from www.aumethodists.org|