My office is tidy Friday, mysteriously messy on Monday. Here’s what I found today:
1. A Clock hanging on my wall, with the correct time, ticking. I didn’t notice it right away. A clock on the wall is very normal thing, and I suppose it just seemed to be a normal part of the decor. I unloaded the stuff I brought into the office, put my lunch in the fridge in the kitchen, talked for a few minutes with our secretary, and then got to work. Once I opened my laptop and waited for it to load, there was silence in my office. Then surprisingly, a tick-tock, tick-tock. The ticking of the clock actually surprised me. I had a clock in my office years ago, but when it died, I never replaced it. With my phone and my laptop, there is no need. So why is there a clock in my office? I wonder if someone is trying to send me a message! I guess I’ll leave it there, unless another room in the church needs a clock. Let me know!
2. Retreat folder – I know I mentioned retreat stuff last week, but since the actual retreat took place this past weekend, I thought I would mention it again. I brought a folder of retreat admin docs, notes, and payment info back with me, and I had to close the books on the retreat today. It was an incredible weekend. Not only did we have awesome weather, delicious food, and the great facilities and staff of Twin Pines, but we went hiking, played sports, airsoft, a high stakes game of croquet, and a couple rounds of Pirate’s Cove. Most of all we got to strengthen our bonds as men, and we got to learn more about and practice growing as mighty men of prayer. There was loads of laughter, intense discussions, even a few tears. If you know one of the men who went on this powerful weekend, pull them aside and ask about the retreat. How about you? When is the last time your learned about prayer? Read about book about prayer? We learned much about prayer including hindrances to prayer. Yes, there are things that can hinder our prayers! Ask one of the guys to tell you what they are!
3. Envelope from Ethiopian Church – I’ve written about them before, but by my quick research I’ve never written about them. I’m excited that the people that are Faith Church are the kind of people that are much more caring about the Kingdom of God than they are about their church building. In my office was a rent check from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church that worships here on Saturdays mornings. The Ethiopian Church is the third church that has rented shared space from us in the 12 years that I have been there. We are glad to partner with them. They are an Orthodox church which means they have a very liturgical style of worship, including the use of icons, holy items and a large temporary fabric screen that covers the entire front of our worship space. They use incense in worship, and they often cook food. Though they meet on Saturday mornings, the smells of their worship linger into Sunday when we arrive. When I heard a couple weeks ago that they purchased a warehouse nearby and are hoping to convert it to worship space, it was bittersweet news. Sweet in that it will be wonderful for them to have their own space. But bitter in that while it is definitely easier for us and them to not have to share, we lose something by not having guests from a different culture regularly in our building. They many differences in the way they live and worship have at times been an adjustment for us. Adjustments are sometimes difficult. But those adjustments, looking back on them, are good. We grow by having to be flexible. We become deeper people by having our sensibilities tested. We learn that we are not the center of the universe, that our way of worship is not the only way, nor the best way. I was so encouraged when people of Faith Church came forward to help the Ethiopian Church with aspects of their new building. Perhaps we can help more! And when they move on, we’ll miss them. We’ll also be looking for ways to partner with other people!
Well…I guess it is time for me to clean up this mess.