Oct. 1, 2020
I’ve been reflecting this week on the many times in my life that I have found myself moving to Plan B instead of Plan A. For a person like me, this is often not an easy move to make. I have most likely heavily invested myself emotionally and materially in whatever Plan A was, and to let it go for something less appealing, less certain, and less clear is hard, to say the least. Of course, underneath the choice to switch paths, what I really am relinquishing is the false notion that I am in control, and that my efforts to make something happen are not the strongest influences in my world. A tough lesson for all of us, I think.
And yet, what I have learned over and over, the “Lesson of Plan B” if you will, is that God’s grace is often abundantly present in the unexpected path, perhaps even more apparently than Plan A. It’s almost as though surrendering that sense of control allows the Holy Spirit to move in and show up in ways I could never have predicted.
The reason for these reflections this week in particular is that Ian and I recently made the decision to fully homeschool our children for this school year. Even though it was clear that remote learning was not a good fit, and in person learning simply not an option, sending that formal letter to withdraw the children from the district was a big, scary step. This was not our Plan A. This was an enormous move, and I wasn’t totally sure I could meet the challenge of being my children’s primary educator.
Enter Grace. Enter the Holy Spirit. In just two weeks of homeschooling, our family stress level has reduced significantly. I am no longer bombarded with emails from multiple teachers and administrators, no longer inundated and bewildered by dozens of apps and haphazardly scheduled online meetings. And the truly beautiful thing I’ve discovered is how much more energy and uninterrupted time this model gives me for my work as your rector. I had been deeply afraid the opposite would be true, but it’s clear this was the right decision because it is simpler and less stressful for all of us. Instead of anxiety about the new year before us, I feel overwhelmingly surrounded and energized by the grace of God who is moving and active even in these strange times. I’m excited for our book study, delighted for the return of Sunday School this month, and eagerly planning Christmas Eve services with Brenda. I am also making visits to our homebound members, and am looking forward to bringing Communion to many of you who are unable to attend services in person. Plan B is turning out to be full of the Holy Spirit, just as it always is. Although many things about ministry this year have turned out to be entirely strange and unexpected, I find myself grateful for God, and for each of you. I pray this season brings us even closer than before in the love of God and one another.
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Rector: The Rev. Elizabeth Harden
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