Monday, June 30, 2008

Good Stuff

What a day! Yesterday, the first Sunday at my new appointment, was phenomenal. Campbell UMC really went all out to welcome us and put on a pretty fabulous party to celebrate. In fact, this whole week has been pretty wonderful. Even in the stress of moving, meeting 400 new friends, getting into a new groove, fitting stuff into new spaces both at home and in my study, and all that jazz – we are really feeling pretty good about life.

We miss our friends in Kansas City, and that reminds us of how grateful we are that they are our friends.

We think a lot about First UMC, Northtown, and that assures us that their new pastor, Kate, is going to find a loving, healthy congregation in which to serve.

We haven’t unpacked all of our boxes yet, and that convicts us of how little stuff we actually need, and how much junk we have just for the sake of having it.

We have only just started learning people’s names, not to mention truly getting to know them and becoming friends, and that feels a little bit … nebulous.

But you know what? I’m an itinerant preacher. That’s what God has called me to be and to do, and that’s a good thing. And you know what else? My family loves me and I love them and we are together. That’s a good thing.

And you know what else, else? I’m starting to learn that churches have a lot more in common than I thought before. That’s probably because of what Horton taught us when he heard a Who – “People are people, no matter how small.” Well – paraphrasing that it might be said that people are people, wherever you go. And people are all kind of woven with the same kinds of thread, you know? We all laugh and cry. We all sleep and eat. We all try to do the right thing and we all make mistakes sometimes.

And in some mysterious and wonderful way, we all long for a relationship with that which transcends us – we all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. And a lot of us try to fulfill that longing by hanging out together in these groups we call “churches.” That’s a good thing, too.

I don’t expect every Sunday here at Campbell UMC to be like last Sunday, at least not in terms of the complex logistics involved. But there’s nothing to say that the energy level, the hopefulness, the joy, and all that good stuff to happen every single week. We’re just trying to be church, as best as we know how to do.

And that’s a very good thing.


Kendall said...

Andy, glad they rolled out the red carpet. Those are just great folks. You continue in my thoughts and prayers - even if from afar.

Kory said...

We've just got to get used to a little interactivity. Which is a very good thing. Actually, if there's one thing that would give me a great weight of inner excitement, it would be a sense of eager responsiveness and awakeness among this wonderful congregation, myself included! All we need is a little encouragement, right? :-)

Anonymous said...

What an exciting time! Having "been there, done that", I know some of your feelings. Can't wait to get to Springfield and see you all in your new digs. Cambell is so blessed to have you and yours among them. It's good to hear how positive the move has been. Love, Mom

Adam said...

Hey man, glad things seem to be going well for the Bryan fam. I'm very familiar with your current conditions!

I read this quote from a Presidential Candidate and thought of you:

"We should, by all means, argue with each other, as did Adams and Jefferson, about the policies of government and the history we hope to make tomorrow. But it should be an argument among friends, who agree more than they disagree, each of us united in a cause larger than our individual interests, honestly debating the best means to serve that cause, and intent on finding some common ground upon which to overcome together the many challenges before us."

Martin said...

You be nice to Melissa.. put the furniture back, and tell her Martin says HELLO. :)