photo: Kathryn M Schreiber (c) 2023
Hello, Dear Ones!
In mid-March 2020 when we were all sent to our homes to shelter in place the only way I knew to serve my community — the local church I serve and the larger community of faith which holds me in a net of care — was to use my website to post weekly at-home worship materials. It was a creative spiritual challenge to re-frame worship from an in-person site-specific event to one that would be “in the cloud” and used whenever and however needed.
Since then, the congregation I serve has found our way back to a new normal, weekly worshipping in our building. During the pandemic, as we cut staff and new needs arose, my role shifted, including taking on a lot of work I’d never done before — true for so many, right?
Honestly, my ministry workload has been “too much for too long” — a condition I know many of my fellow servant-workers feel. And, honestly, it has been tough to know what to release. This week, with the help of my church’s lay leadership, we decided to step back to pre-online presence ministry. I will continue to prepare in-person worship services for my community, but we will not be publishing weekly content. This will free up a lot of my time, as well as other tasks I’m setting down. I’m all in favor of these changes! We need to spend time listening, together, to what God is calling us to build now and then to decide how to support that ministry. I know we aren’t alone.
I’m also feeling sorrow, a loss. I’ve never known who has been reading these materials (though some of you have reached out to me — thank you!) It grew increasingly sweet to post on this website and forward through FB without a known audience. It has been dear to practice casting a Living Word, like a seed, broadcast without knowing what would or wouldn’t sprout.
God willing, someday, I will return to a published ministry. For now, the dear folks of Berkeley Chinese Community Church, UCC in the Bay Area (SF+) of California need me to serve in a different way and I’m happy to do so.
As I release this era of ministry, I close with a poetic, not edited, jumble of words. May your soul hear something God is saying to you:
“Would it be possible,” the young soul always asks, “To leave this land of accounted time and costs, of tabulated giving and receiving, to absolutely, freely share the most wonderful gifts God has given us?”
“Yes,” the old souls always answers, “But what about all those we would leave behind? Dear One, the job is always to love God. Love always changes form. Always. Especially Divine Love. Trust God to guide the transformations happening now, and those to come.”
May God take away what is no longer needed, and grant unto us what truly is needed. May God shift what needs transforming, and fortify what must not change. AMEN.
Blessings and Peace upon you and yours in 2023 and The Year of the Rabbit,
In the Big Love, Pastor Kathryn