In Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird, she quotes Kurt Vonnegut and writes:
“‘Your days work might turn out to have been a mess. So what?” Vonnegut said, “when I write, I feel like an armless legless man with a crayon in his mouth.”
So go ahead and make big scrawls and mistakes. Use up lots of paper. Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here…”
I share this quote because at our council retreat and in the month that has followed, we have been making big scrawls on white boards, messily engaging in questions of who we are and where we’re going. We’ve set our sights on three areas of focus. This year, as we move through our COVID reality, as a council, we are committed to the following:
Fiercely pursuing connection with others and God
After all of the isolation and disconnect of the past few years, we will seek to reconnect within our community, with those outside of our community, and with God as a community.
Sending out new shoots of growth, using this as a year of discernment by way of experimentation
As we come back to a fuller version of our church, we’re going to do like Anne Lamott said; we’re going to make big scrawls, risk taking on new ventures and trying new things, even if it’s messy from time to time, because in the mess making, we will re-learn who we are.
Before the pandemic we had a children’s choir and a Christmas Tea, and other well loved events and ministries. We can’t go back to where we were before, but we can prayerfully and playfully experiment to figure out who and how God is calling us to be now.
Offering our church as a place of refuge in the Word
These last two years have been exhausting, frustrating, and have left our world worn down in a myriad of ways. We are the bearers of God’s word which we proclaim has the power to redeem and create. Therefore, we are going to discern new ways to take refuge in the Word, allowing it to redeem and recreate us.
It’s an exciting time to be the church. We have a treasure trove of traditions, a community full of dedicated, talented, creative, fun people, and a God who created us out of mud - who loves a good mess. Get out your crayons and get ready to make big scrawls. This is how we learn who and why we are.