Bishop’s Committee meets tonight at Holy Innocents at 7pm. In the course of the last few months, we have been reading Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak, as we worked toward changing the way we thought about “church at Holy Innocents” and “church in general.” Those of us on the committee had been content until soon after Fr. Ted’s arrival to simply discuss the financial challenges we face – that was more than enough for us! But under Ted’s leadership, we’ve all done a lot of thinking and making attempts at personal growth. We all had to come to terms with the fact that we are leaders, not simply sheep in the flock.
Parker Palmer’s book has added a pleasant dimension to the meetings – we start with a reading, discuss it amongs ourselves, have some reflection time, and then move on to business matters.
I’m not sure many of us have passed this along to friends and family in the Holy Innocents community, but the meetings have helped us to shape our thoughts about what we’re about here at Holy Innocents.
Tonight, we finish with the book. It deals a lot with facing fears and recognizing the strength we all carry within ourselves. Here is an excerpt from what we’ll be discussing tonight:
“We have places of fear inside of us, be we have other places as well — places with names like trust and hope and faith. We can choose to lead from one of those places, to stand on ground that is not riddled w/ the fault lines of fear, to move toward others from a place of promise instead of anxiety. As we stand in one of those places, fear may remain close at hand and our spirits may still tremble. But now we stand on ground that will support us, ground from which we can lead others toward a more trustworthy, more faithful way of being in the world.” From Letting Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer.
Also, since we moved the meeting times to the evening hour, we’ve been in the habit of reciting the Night Prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book. I have come to love this prayer – it is very different from anything in the US BCP, but it’s very moving.
Lord, it is night. The night is for stillness. Let us be still in the presence of God. It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done; what has not been done has not been done; let it be. The night is dark. Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you. The night is quiet. Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace. The night heralds the dawn. Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities. In your name, we pray. Amen.