Written by Sherry
Wednesday, 19 August 2009 05:39
An interesting e-mail that I received last week while still in Omaha from a parish associate, related to our recent discussion here on "the Gap".
I am an Intentional Disciples reader and appreciate your thoughtful posts so much. We are looking forward to our mission with Catherine of Siena next Feb/Mar.
Your reflections upon the Gap really hit home this morning. Wednesday, I was on boarding a plane in Dallas, headed to Columbia, SC where two of my children attend "the other" USC, as west coasters call it. As we were settling in our seats, the flight attendant announced that a Bible has been found in the concourse--did anyone lose it?
Half the plane went diving for their bags, checking for a lost Bible (I admit I checked to see if it was my Liturgy of the Hours that she found)...it did look like a vignette for You know you are in the Bible Belt when...at first, it was funny. But held a deeper meaning for me.
As a former Evangelical and one whose ministry focuses on adults, it is more poignant than that. When I came to our parish five years ago, the emphasis was on cerebral, intellectual formation...absent of any spiritual dimension. They functioned as water-tight compartments--you were either in one or the other. And the standoff between the two groups was, well, interesting to say the least.
When I reflect back on my own years as an Evangelical (now 30 years ago), a personal relationship AND ongoing formation went hand-in-hand. As my personal relationship grew, I wanted to learn more...as I learned more, it drew me into a deeper relationship with God. When I reflect upon the past years in the parish, I realize how big a part my personal experience has played, often without my knowing it, in the direction we have taken. It was not intentional on my part to begin with--purely providential. As were the persons in the parish God sent my way who shared a similar vision. How we have grown and changed as a parish is amazing...it has been a challenge for all of us.
As an aside: In retrospect, it was this desire to integrate these two dimensions of my life, that led to the door of the Newman Center at Emory University in Atlanta--an awareness of how scriptural the Mass was, and yes, I also experienced a Real Presence that was undeniable, and drew me deeper into liturgy.
The plane episode was just one of those moments God uses so well to renew my commitment to service. Your post helped me see that.
Thanks again for the posts--they really speak to me out in the field.