Just before I pulled out of the driveway, my son Will came running out the door and presented me with his red hat saying "here Mom, take my hat so you won't miss me. You can cuddle it." I almost left it at home, but how could I do that? So I brought his hat with me and took pictures of it in all sorts of interesting places. It was like he was travelling with me. It was like a reminder that pieces of home go with us even as we go on pilgrimage. I know as I learned and listened at Geeenbelt both my family and my church family stayed with me as I pondered how every new ideas can be used at home and in church. Even when we taking time away, we bring with us pieces of home because that is where all that we've explored and learned gets lived out in ever new ways.
On Tuesday morning we gathered once again as United Church pilgrims and what we take with us is certainly on our minds. Many of us weary after so much going, listening, doing and learning. I certainly was. We opened wit worship. One of the songs we sang was "take, o take me as I am. Summon out what I shall be. Set your seal upon your heart and live in me." It is a lively John Bell song. In many ways it is what I've taken from this pilgrimage. God takes us we are, uses our gifts and skills, inspires us to go on new directions and lives in us as we live out our calling.
If I were to summerize what I learned it would be "love God, love neighbour." Many of the speakers emphasized the importance of how we live out our faith. Loving our neighbour is one of the ways that we do that the speakers all came at it from different ways. It reminded me that it is so important that in the church we look beyond the walls if our church and be engaged in our community.
Our moderator quoted St. Augustine reminding us that without God wr can't and without us God won't. The gospel message is alive in so many ways and can be communicated in many ways. At Geeenbelt there are a hundred different styles of worship whether it is rock worship, Taize worship, nursery rhyme Eucharist or U2charsit. There are many ways to sing praises to God. It reminds me that as we gather for worship we to can praise God in many ways with music, in silence, through movement or in our creative endeavours.
The blessing of this time apart is to be remind that God takes and uses me just as I am. At the first gathering Gary asked to go and gather pollen so we could make honey. Well I gathered lots of pollen. I'm not sure what kind of honey will come from it but I'm pretty sure that honey is always sweet.