Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Change of Season

I have been wondering how I was going to communicate in retirement. For some years now I have tried to keep up with two blogs: For A Season and Stone of Witness both at Blogspot. I wish to continue to blog. As an extrovert in a relatively introverted profession and who lives with an introvert, I need some way to express thoughts so that I can come to decisions. It is one of the ways that I formulate and continue to grow and change my opinions, my convictions, come to grips with what is going on in the world, my relationships and ultimately my faith.

For a Season began as a response to The Episcopal Church (TEC) and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Shori’s moratorium on the election and consecration of LGBT persons to the episcopate. It was a mild but important protest against the loading on the back of LGBT persons the real and now outward and readily apparent power plays of some in the Anglican Communion to make the Anglican Communion into something of their own imagination. But that blog morphed into a commentary on the vagaries of serving across denominational lines when I accepted a call to a small ELCA congregation. Those vagaries were both difficult and delightful. They were frustrating and freeing. And on this blog I found some joy and healing that TEC could not provide. I am thankful that For A Season became what it was even though in the past months I have not posted here.

For A Season, as its name suggests was intended to be temporary. The moratorium on LGBT consecrations has been lifted by TEC and I am no longer serving an ELCA church. But I know I have a readership on this blog that I appreciate and do not wish to lose. I need you because you give me a reason to express myself, grow and stay in contact.

Stone of Witness was a blog that I began when I started to work in the ELCA to address issues in TEC and the diocese I was living in at the time. It became a place where I could speak to the changes that were happening in the Church but it was unequivocally an Episcopal site. I knew my other denominational followers did not follow it as closely as they did For A Season.

I have decided to end For A Season and expand the focus of Stone of Witness. A stone of witness is an ancient custom found in Hebrew literature as early as the Jacob stories of Genesis. When one passed by a place of remembrance, a tomb or grave, a battle site, or a place of spiritual significance, people would place a stone to indicate not only that they had been there, but that they had remembered the original event. Cairns marked holy places all over the Middle East much as churches dot our land, or historical markers grab our attention. The simple act of placing a stone not only said that I was there, but that I valued the event or spiritual experience that had happened in that place. The stone tied the placer of the stone to the event, kept alive the event yet said that I would not forget.
Blog writing for me is a form of remembrance for me. It is a way of describing what is important but it is also a place where I return to find sustenance for my faith journey. It is a place where others find themselves addressing the same issues, wonderments, Scripture, events and sharing their thoughts, feelings and taking away something that may have been left. It is a way of communicating in a faceless world, a way in which God is present and visible in our lives and creation.

So I am inviting all my For A Season readers to join me by attending and perhaps bring a stone of remembrance yourselves. It will not be a singularly Episcopal site. It will be a site at which I will share the thoughts that come and raise their heads at odd moments in the journey of faith and life. I plan to continue to comment on the state of the Church but not only that. And because I am in that life that says is supposed to be retired, I will comment on what that means to someone who probably won’t retire as long as I can think.