I attended a New Pastor’s Retreat this week at Geneva Center with about 6 other new pastors. We have been meeting together twice a year for almost 2 years now. We have some time to relax, to worship and to talk with one another about how we feel prepared or not prepared for the challenges we face in ministry. All of us that attended this week were solo pastors and mostly at small churches.
It was interesting to hear the many backgrounds that have brought us to where we currently are serving; so different and yet so similar. God uses not only the activities of our lives but also the spaces in our lives to mold and shape us. One of the exercises we used to help us think about that was creating a mosaic. Mosaics begin in the middle and grow outward. Mosaics are crafted of differing textiles— we had fabric, ribbons, plastic medallions, seashells, plastic “jewels” — some used all medallions on their mosaic, some used a variety of items; yet we all had a distinguishable center. Some had lots of spaces in their mosaic and some filled every possible space.
So like the church. We all come together centered on a God who calls us to worship. We bring our experiences — some filled with God and some open spaces we are not so sure of. Some places we see God so manifest in our lives and some places feel so empty of God’s presence; and together it make a mosaic of people. A beautiful mosaic that fits — some very closely and some held a bit more loosely.
As we gather to share at the Lord’s Table this week, look at the beautiful people of the mosaic that God has woven into our church family. Give thanks to God and be a blessing to one another — offering closeness and space but always centering on God.