Here’s what I mean by My Bags and Boxes Full: It continues to be my experience that we are called to minister and worship together, creating not workshops or classrooms, but communities, that build and grow and trust in one another for the duration of our time together. This is holy work, not childcare, not baby sitting. We have the honor of attending to God’s most precious gift of all, our children. Let us pause before the task ahead, be it guiding, teaching or tender nurturing, submitting our will before the Grace of God. How deep is our commitment? How ready are we to be fully present with and among our children? Are we at peace with the reasons we are here? Can we risk the singing from the soul?
Worship is the very best structure of all. It begins well in advance of our time together, thinking, hoping, praying on possibilities. At retreats, in workshops or classrooms, it is indeed possible to be in worship any time of day as we experience our faith together, playing, learning and caring among our children. Just to sit and contemplate and experience God at work within their perfect bodies is an awesome gift and privilege. I expect and come prepared to build tall, rugged and clear boundaries in which ministry unfolds, where children grow and gathered Light shines outward, safely and freely. Where the Holy Spirit works, Grace attends, superseding formulas and every kind of human business. Children inherently know this, too.
“Dear God, I brought my bags and boxes full. I trust I am prepared. Stay with us, precious Spirit, as we rejoice within the rising and the setting of this day. Temper my resolve with other rhythms of those who also lead, including your children. Help me to hear, respond, rejoice in the Light so freely given. Keep our circle within your circle, O Lord. May our experience be felt and known as gathered communion. Amen.”
It’s interesting…I realize that I have never shared my personal credo in ministry on my blog. Not sure why. I wrote it almost twenty years ago and it has served the test of time and is still relevant to my understanding of ministry today.
Since we are about to launch another weekend retreat for Quaker children, and as I reflect on my credo, I thought, why not share it here, too?