Henri Nouwen was once deeply moved by a performance of the Rodleighs, a troupe of flying trapeze artists. One of the artists explained to Nouwen that the flyer can do nothing but trust that the catcher will catch him. The timing is crucial. If the flyer tries to catch the catcher they could both be seriously hurt. But if the flyer waits, extends their arms and waits to be caught, his partner can deliver him back to the safety of the platform.
That period of waiting to be caught and land safely is hard. It’s all about trust. Nathan Kirkpatrick writes that we trust people who are competent, have our best interest at heart, people of integrity (open and transparent), and reliable in their performance and predictable in their behavior.
This year is a year of high anxiety for many. It feels like an “in between time,” a season of not quite yet. Some long for new people to be elected to public office while others yearn for a resolution to the present theological impasse in the United Methodist Church. Regardless of how much we want it be sooner, General Conference will be held May 5-15, 2020 and the next general election will be on November 3, 2020. When you find yourself in that place of anxiety or worry, remember the words of Psalm 46: “Be still, and know that I am God.”
At Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church, the Way Forward Task Force has been listening to both the pain and the hopes for this community of faith. We hope you will attend one of the three remaining listening sessions: Sunday, August 25, 12:15, Wednesday, August 28, 6:30 p.m., or Sunday, September 8, 12:15 p.m.
This fall the task force will make a recommendation to the Servant Leadership Board about how we will move forward as a congregation, ready to respond swiftly to the options available to us after General Conference meets in May 2020.
We serve a God who invites us to let go and trust God. We are invited to take God’s hand and step into the future with confidence and deep, abiding joy. Let us continue to serve Christ, love one another, and open ourselves to be vessels of grace and love for all of God’s people.
Rev. Dr. Cathy Johns