This evening clergy from north, south, east and west of Baltimore Presbytery gathered around the Lord’s table to celebrate and reaffirm our call to ministry. Upon the communion table, laid over 40 stoles, as each person brought their stole as part of a blessing/reaffirmation of our call to ministry.
As a stole was selected from the table, the pastor to whom the stole belonged went forward to receive his/her blessing and then chose a stole from the communion table inviting the next person to come forward. As each stole was picked, it was fun to see which stole matched up with each clergy colleague. And much like how different the stoles were upon the table, I realize again just how different each of my colleagues are from each other and me. When you view clergy from a distance, some of us might appear to be like or look like another, but like the stoles, upon closer examination one would see a diversity of gifts present in each.
One size doesn’t fit all in our presbytery, much like the stoles, each pastor present tonight is quite different with a different story and gift to share. One of the best part of these clergy gatherings for me is hearing and learning another’s story. I love stories and always have, even if I can’t remember or regurgitate the story to you or for you two weeks from now. There is something powerful about our personal narratives. And that “something” I believe to be God’s Spirit, which is ever so intimately intertwined in the daily stories of our lives. And as God’s Spirit blows differently into each of our lives it gives us uniquely different experiences that shape us our God-given gifts differently.
What is your story? When you tell it or share it, what God-given gifts become evident? And how do you celebrate and use these gifts God has generously given to you?