Lord, you have searched me out and known me;
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
Where can I go then, from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
Psalm 139: 1,6
By Rev. Canon Val Kenyon
In a crisis, whether it is particularly easy or not, we do what we must, to meet the challenge of the moment.
We have had multiple examples of this kind of behaviour since Covid entered our lives. We did what we had to do to keep ourselves and others safe.
Our early days of isolation as we waited for the development of effective vaccines, while necessary, were difficult. Being unable to connect to family and friends as we once had, only added to the stressors of the moment.
Now as we find ourselves in a rebuilding type of phase, more than ever we appreciate the joys of reconnecting. Never has a coffee hour been more appreciated. Never has belonging felt more important.
Belonging is that feeling of connectedness to a group or community, that sense that we are part of something greater than ourselves. As Christians our primary connectedness is to the divine.
We can read in Psalm 139 above that the psalmist, almost to their great surprise, had come to understand both the depth and the reality of their connection to God, their belonging to God, aware that wherever they found themselves, there was God’s Spirit. That we are known and seen by God is a great comfort in the middle of everything else swirling around us. Who we are and how we are managing is known by God, as we say on a Sunday morning, “to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden.” (BAS p185).
While worshiping at a distance strained our sense of connectedness from one another, it did energize our initiative in finding new innovative ways to connect. These many months later we continue to be grateful that we are able to gather again yet even as we do, it is strange how different aspects of our world and the world around us seems more fractured than ever. Being assured that we are not alone, that we can find a place where our faith stories and our experiences can be heard, seen and valued, a place where we can belong, seems more important than ever.
In our faith communities there are certainly many different places and ways of belonging. One such place of connection is within the Education for Ministry group. Building community, safe places where we can be heard and seen, where we can be vulnerable, ask questions, and encounter and engage with new and different perspectives, is of primary importance. Not only is this meaningful for the exploration of our faith, but an imperative as we commit ourselves to discerning God’s Spirit as we examine and re-examine the Gospel message for our times. As participants gather it is not so much about finding the answers as about finding companions in the asking of questions.
Interested in learning more about all that is available to you in our Education for Ministry sessions? Please reach out at any time to either Libi Clifford, the Diocese of Huron EfM Coordinator or myself Val Kenyon, Huron’s EfM Animator at firstname.lastname@example.org as we would be pleased to hear from you.
Rev. Canon Dr. Val Kenyon is EFM Animator in Huron.