Finding A Way is a companion for the journey of Lent in 2015. It also comes out of my spiritual journey as the settled pastor of a growing church in the United Church of Christ. The “settled” part is important to me right now. For almost a decade, I served as an interim minister, working for a season in various churches that were in the process of choosing a new pastor. It was great work that I loved, and I evolved practices to support the constant moving and changing, beginning and ending. Now I have settled into a call, so the constant moving is over, but hopefully, the growth will continue.
I have come to believe that spirituality and spiritual practices need to evolve and change as our lives and circumstances change. Just as you have tiny screwdrivers for the hinge in your glasses and sturdy screwdrivers to loosen things in your garage, we need to have different kinds of spiritual practices to respond the challenges we face.
When I was raising small children, many of my spiritual practices revolved around parenting and housekeeping. My half hour of solitude and coffee in the morning was essential to keep me balanced and flexible enough to meet the needs of my family and congregation.
When the kids moved out on their own, I started the long distance commuting that characterizes interim ministry and most contract jobs. My car became my prayer room, and after all the long hours alone, I craved community and interaction.
In the course of my interim ministry, I moved almost every two years. Part of my spiritual practice centered around creating islands of peace in the midst of mountains of boxes, and finding routines that kept the chaos at bay in a new place.
For a time, I kept an extensive prayer list. For a time, I attended mass daily in a Roman Catholic church. For a time, I walked the same route every day. For a time, I used a prayer bead bracelet. For a time, I did Bible study every day. For a time, I logged into a prayer site that guided me through a devotion. For a time, I stopped into any church that was having a Sunday afternoon worship service.
All these fed my soul for that season of my life. But as my life changed, so has my practice. This series of meditations will invite the reader to find “a way” that works right now. These resources and reflections will be built on the assumption that we are capable of choosing rituals and practices that feel right for us, and nurture us as Christ’s disciples; serving the world in love.
Rev. Leigh G McCaffrey, Pastor
First United Church of Christ, Orlando
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