Tuesday greetings on the kind of day in the Midwest that we all dread here; 41 degrees, raining, raw, and windy; it goes right through you!
I am gearing up for the GO: Gulf Coast Faith Formation Conference that will take place just outside of New Orleans, in Kenner, beginning this coming Thursday. I always enjoy this conference and this year they are having a focused liturgy track as part of the conference. I am doing a presentation entitled "Intentional Hospitality: Cultivating the Welcoming Parish." In it, I will tell my own story about "shopping" for a parish once I left a parish of which I had been a member for over ten years.
This reminds me of something that occurred this past summer while I was leading one of WLP's "Sing the Seasons" choral reading sessions. During the break that evening, a woman came up to me and told me that she and I had been on a very similar journey and that she was so grateful that I had been her companion on that journey. I though it was odd because I had never seen nor even met this person. She said that she was a faithful follower of this blog. And she followed my very painful story of having left the parish that I loved so much in search of a new one; a search that was too often so painful and filled with disappointments. She said that at the same time, her home parish, in which she had been the full-time music director for many years, was assigned a new pastor. The new pastor very quickly began to dismantle much of the parish leadership team and she was fired. When she told me this, it was so obvious that this was a keenly painful experience for her. She said that she kind of latched on to my story and, although she felt like she was all alone in her pain, somehow she joined hers to mine and we (unbeknownst to me) became fellow travelers, searching for a new spiritual home.
Folks, I was so grateful that she shared this with me. Social media like blogs and other outlets can be very powerful tools as people move through life. I will never forget this encounter. And I was so grateful to hear that she, like I , had found a new spiritual home and was making music once again.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.