I realized a couple of days ago that I haven't posted in quite a while. Part of that was reentry from CREDO, something they talk about as a process best undertaken gently and carefully. Part of it was just sheer busy-ness. September is perhaps one of the most challenging months outside of Holy Week and Christmas for parish clergy. Everything that has been in or on hiatus since June kicks in again in full force...and Trinity doesn't spare the horses as we move into the fall programs that define our ministries and let the community know that this parish is engaged in mission, proclamation and service to the Body of Christ.
From TYG, to Church School, from Outreach to Yoga classes, from diocesan and deanery events to workdays and the mailing of Tidings, our parish newsletter, it seems that not a day goes by without a significant event happening in the life of the parish.
I love that about Trinity.
I love it even more today. Yesterday, I got word that my uncle, Curt, Sr., died enroute home from a long vacation in Italy. The news was hard to hear and nearly impossible to absorb, and it came during the end of staff meeting. My uncle was a pretty amazing and larger than life sort of guy. He had retired years ago from the Michigan State Police; was a serious player in the Methodist Church both in his town and at the district level. He sang, played in a band and rang in the bell choir and worked at my grandfather's old funeral home when needed-taking calls and helping with funerals from time to time. On top of that, he loved to restore Ferraris and Lamboghinis. I remember distinctly a Spring Break trip to Florida I took with him, my aunt and cousin when Curt, Jr. and I were in High School. We spent as much time at exotic car dealerships and body shops scouting wrecks for restoration as we did at the beach. He and I did not agree on politics or theology most of the time, but Lord, did I love to sit with him and "talk Church."
So, in the midst of all this busyness, I am aware of a whole chapter of life that has shifted gears to the seldom expected experience of grief, mourning and separation that a tragic death tend to engender in our lives. The grace of this happening in the here and now is that Laura and I are being held in prayer, even as we hold others facing these moments in life in our prayers...and the fellowship of this parish is wrapping up around us...even as I have seen and encouraged it to wrap up around others in the past.
Death in the midst of life is never easy...but the grace of community in Christ is that we can be held in loss and experience a sense of life in the midst of death...even when busy is the name of the day.
God bless uncle Curt, and may light perpetual shine upon him, and us, when our call to glory sounds.
Andiamo mio zio!