Dear Fremont Family:

Some weeks are busier than others. I know that is true for all of us. Sometimes in life activities and obligations coincide, and there is more to juggle than usual. This week is one of those weeks for me. I am just back from a 2-day retreat with the Board of Ordained Ministry where I was a Spiritual Guide for candidates being examined for the ordination process. What that means is that individuals who have felt the call to ministry, have completed a seminary degree, and who have turned in the necessary paperwork are examined by the Board of Ordained Ministry and either recommended for commissioning into Provisional Ministry (a 3-year residency in ministry) or ordination as a Full Elder. Recommendation by the Board is the best scenario. Sometimes the candidates are not recommended, and they have to reevaluate their call and try again at a future time.

The role of the Spiritual Guide is to hold the candidates in prayer, accompany them through the process and create holy space for the candidates (the above photo is the altar we made together) in between their examination interviews. Honestly, the process for the candidates is grueling, and as a result, their anxiety is high. Yet, I love it! It feels like a gift to walk alongside the candidates and lift them to the light of God’s love regardless if they “pass” or not. This year is my third year being asked by the Board to be a Spiritual Guide, and I am honored that they continue to value my presence.

Then, tomorrow I am off to Seattle. Our Greater Northwest Area is hosting a series of Equity training workshops. Certain Conference leaders were invited to participate, and both Cynthia MacLeod (as District Lay Leader) and myself were included. The Equity workshops are designed to hold our Annual Conferences to higher standards when it comes to changing the culture of our Conferences. That means identifying and then intentionally removing the ways in which white supremacy has been embedded in our shared policies and practices. It is very good work, and yet, it is also a little much when it comes back to back with the Board retreat.

What you do when you have “heavy” weeks like this one? How do you care for yourself during the busy times, and do you have loved ones who hold you accountable to rest when it’s all over? This week, I invite you to be that accountable community for me. I would welcome your prayers AND your gentle reminders to rest.

See you Sunday!

Grace and peace,