Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Prophet without Voice

This is my eighth day in Fortuna. Odd week of doing ministry by doing almost no work at all. Moving is part of the job, and so I have been working over-long days every day for a month now. But all the dirt and dust and garbage and cleaning and packing and unpacking and tearing down and setting up is all done in the midst of a monumental work of love. The way has been paved by so many, and I am so grateful. We have been surrounded in blessings from long before we stepped foot into Fortuna. Thank you.

This week, I got a gift. My first Sunday at Fortuna United Methodist Church was spent sitting in the pew watching while others lead the service and Carol Newquist preached the sermon. He talked about Jesus not being able to really preach in his own home town. The only voice I had was when John stuck two pieces of paper in my hand before the service and told me I was singing the anthems with the men of the congregation -- patriotic songs, "don't worry, it's all melody". Carol talked about expectations, and being real with one another, and how Jesus couldn't be accepted as a special person in his own home town because everyone already knew who he was. I like the question he poses to me.

Do I do better ministry where I am known or where I am not known? It is a pretty acute question for me right now. But I think it is a good question for all of us.

What do you think? Where do you do your best ministry?

1 comment:

  1. It is an interesting question whether Pastor Ted does better ministry known or unknown. I have an anecdote that will show Pastor Ted has been out in the community. Last Sunday I skipped church and was having breakfast at the golf course prior to a round. A woman and her parents were talking at a nearby table. She asked her parents if they were going to the Methodist Church on Sunday, August 2? The parents I have seen in church maybe twice since 1991. What stuck me is how the woman knew Pastor Ted would be speaking then. She went on to tell her parents he (Pastor Ted) had been in town about a month but had not preached yet. She thought that was interesting. I thought it remarkable that Pastor Ted has people like this talking! The parents said they weren't coming - too late in the day. (They golf earlier.) Hmm...