Musings, On Being a Pastor Who Shares in Grief: April 19th 2021
It is almost the end of a long day, filled with the richness of memories, story, song and shared grief. Yes, you read that right, rich with shared grief.
It was a joy and honour to have a role in honouring Norma’s life, to be present with Wallie and Janet, Mike and Keeli and Paula and Bernie and their extended family and friends, a circle made even wider by the many who were able to join online and tell stories as we celebrated her life among us.
These moments are such a privilege and burden. A privilege because you let me into your lives and a burden because in a leadership role I am not always able to be present to my own grief.
Thankfully, this afternoon I was able to attend to my own grief in the moments after the funeral when I was able to return to Wallie and Norma’s home and sit again in that room I’d sat in with Norma before, and share a glass of wine and laughter. I then followed Rasta down the road, walking steps that Norma had walked, to have a little visit with Mora and Tessa. After which I made my way to Frank and Dianne Oulton’s where I found them with David and Diane Fullerton on the back deck – doing as Norma had asked: having a glass of wine and telling stories. In these moments you cared for me. Thank you.
This coming Sunday, the texts and theme seems more than appropriate: Good Shepherd Sunday. We’ll read the 23rd Psalm, maybe we’ll sing it too and we’ll hear stories that speak of Jesus as shepherd, who lays down his life for his sheep, who knows his own and his own know him, who speaks of there being one flock and one shepherd.
I’m sure we could all use a bit more shepherding and pastoring… I know this pastor could.
Tomorrow I am in the office until at least noon during which time I will host the Preacher’s Help Group on Zoom at 10:30AM. After lunch I’ll be off to Moncton for a meeting.
I plan to work from home on Wednesday. The morning will have me focused on doing some preparation for Sunday and in the later afternoon I’ll be taking part in the seminar related to my work as a Conflict Resolution Facilitator for the Region. The Virtual Community Supper will begin at 5PM. You can join in by following this link. At 7:15 I will gather with the SUC Executive for the regular business meeting.
Thursday morning, I will be remembering my Mom as she celebrates her birthday and as I can’t get to PEI for the event I will mark her birthday by making my way to the Drew where I will get my second jab! Then, being fully vaccinated I’ll make my way to Moncton to meet with the family of Liz Amos to plan for a celebration of their mother’s life next week. At 7PM I will host the ‘last call’ for Beer and (no) Hymns. You can take part by following this link.
Friday and Saturday will be days off and will include another cross-border snuggle/smuggle of a puppy from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick! Watch for pictures on Facebook!
Sunday will see us gather at Upper Sackville at 9AM and Sackville United (and Facebook Live) at 11AM! I do hope you will join us!