Week of September 20, 2020

Elsewhere in the Corner you will see an article about an initiative that the Vestry and I undertook to try to provide support to families of young children in the Lawrence area. This ministry has proven to be challenging, but at the same time surprisingly rewarding. I was, I will admit, a bit surprised by my own emotional response to seeing this ministry happen. It is not like I haven’t been responding and doing things during this time but many of those activities—trying to create an online presence at Trinity, figuring out how to parent my children while they engage in distance learning, etc.—all seem like modifications of my existing responsibilities and ministries. I was already doing those things, now I have to do them differently, and perhaps for some time.

The pod is something new. The Vestry and I looked at our community, saw a need, and chose to respond. But it wasn’t until that happened that I realized how desperately I needed, on a profoundly spiritual level, to do something in the face of a crisis that seems so out of my control. And as a Christian I cannot help but wonder if that groundswell of energy and sense of accomplishment is out of my responding to God’s call to serve during this time.

In spite of this, I am a realist. The pod needs to be better organized and needs more support from the greater Lawrence community for it to continue. There is no sense of what is going to happen after the six weeks have passed and USD 497 has made a decision to return or not to return to in-person schooling. But even if we have to conclude this ministry, it was self-revelatory to me about what this has meant. That has me wondering about all of you, and your hearts and spirits, and what, if any, frustrations or yearnings you may feel to do something during this time in our nation’s history. I want to hear from you, pray with you, and help you discern your call to ministry during this time.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Rob+