Carla’s Candids for October 12

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

One of best parts of serving among you for 30 years is story. I have had the privilege of learning your stories and sometimes I have even been a part of the story: officiating at your wedding, blessing your baby, weeping with you at a graveside. But in this first year as Senior Minister I have been surprised to learn that there is so much more to the story. There are more layers to the story of the congregation. Deeper stories than one learns initially. Moments of heartbreak and exhilarating joy that shaped us forever and set us each on a path of spiritual seeking. It takes us a while to trust one another with the deeper stories.

In the recent sermon series “Greatest Hits of the Bible” we looked at popular stories of Noah, Jonah etc. I thought I knew those stories. But in preaching on them, I learned that there is so much more to the story. So many ways to understand the nuances of the story. And the stories are not really about Jonah and Noah but about who they experienced God to be in the middle of their stories. Noah learns of God’s change of heart. Jonah learns of God’s extravagant reach in forgiving human failure.

When my family drove to the country to visit my grandmother in her little house with no phone, we almost always found two fresh-baked pies sitting on the counter (coconut crème and lemon meringue). But Granny was nowhere to be found. She was out on the farm, picking okra or squash or tomatoes. Over the years we retold this story, because it reminded us of God’s gracious hospitality of just hoping for a child to stop in to sit down and share a sweet bite at the table. And it pointed to an ethic of hard work, laboring to nourish one another with the earth’s bounty.
Christina Baldwin writes “We live in story like a fish lives in water.” Sometimes it is difficult for us to notice the water around us. But when we pause to reflect, what do we see about the nature and character of God who has companioned us on this story of ours?
With grace and peace,
Carla