Intern Minister's Messages
- Published Date
Humans do so much. Too much, some would say. We can feel as if doing helps us feel useful. As if it’s our purpose. Maybe doing helps us feel that we’re a good person. In the meantime, all the while we are doing whatever it is that we do, we interact with other people.
I spent last week in Appalachia on a mission trip with a group from my home church. Believe me, we were busy, doing, every waking minute of every day. You would think some of us would have come home dreaming of that tray and roller of white paint that we wielded for several days, while painting the exterior of a cinder block Pentecostal church. You’d think some of us would have come home telling everyone about our aches and pains from cleaning, or taping and mudding dry wall, or hammering nails, or lugging lumber up a hill, digging ditches or gardening. After all, we truly did DO a lot last week.
But what people came home thinking about has nothing to do with the tasks they accomplished or how hard the group worked. Rather, on the minds of my traveling companions are the faces and the stories of the “mountain people” we met. Correction. These faces don’t live in our minds at all. They live in our hearts. Here at home, as we have emailed back and forth about what it’s like to re-enter our noticeably soft lives in New England, the people in our group seem to feel as if all those folks we met have come to New England and are part of our lives now. An Old Testament professor once tossed out a great line: “We are the key to each other’s identity.” Indeed, it’s each other’s faces and stories that change and grow who we are.
It feels wonderful to be home, and after this time so far away, it feels especially good to be back amongst you, whom I’ve missed. A lot happens at UUCR: worship services, opportunities for spiritual growth and faith development for everyone, sharing, caring, managing, holding, welcoming, repairing, organizing….doing. That said, with this week’s two memorial services for beloved members of our community, I feel especially grateful for the faces and stories of UUCR.
Living in each other’s hearts helps put our "doing" in perspective...
Betsy Tabor is UUCR’s Intern Minister.