Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

FCS retreat 2012: Bless!

In the car ride out to retreat, Betsy said she thought I was trained as a "lay minister," that she thinks of me as like a "spiritual leader." I was really touched. I'm used to the "are you, or have you ever been, in seminary?" question because of how much I engage with church/theology ... but I live in my head, and so the stuff that's much more experiential/spiritual is not what I think of as being what I'm particularly wired for/skilled at, so I was really touched.

This morning we had a session where we shared things we (or others) needed blessing for (and the gathered community responded by blessing us/them). I started crying partway through. (Heather E. was crying, and I was calling her "baby girl" in my head, which reminded me of calling Shoshana that and of how it reminds me of the Meg Barnhouse song, which I learned in that room my first retreat, and I was wishing I could remember more of the words.) People being so vulnerable, and people asserting that they loved these individuals and that they were valuable... (I hadn't realized how much brokenness and pain so many people in this community are experiencing.) I primarily live in my head, "experiential" tends to not be a word I use much, I'm misanthropic ... but in that room, during that session, I was feeling that this is what church/community is about, about that vulnerability and sharing and support.
I reject the idea I hear out there that the church is the only institution that exists solely for the people who aren’t inside of it. (is that what “missional means? i’ve never quite figured that one out) [...] The danger here is that nothing may be feeding the people who are doing the serving and they become spiritually and emotionally malnourished.
-from Nadia Bolz-Weber's "Whose Church Is This? Mine, Yours, Theirs, or God’s?"
After lunch, I considered going to Julia and Margaret's dance/movement session, but I was experiencing inertia (as were a lot of people, it seemed) ... I knew going to bed ~1:30am was gonna play out poorly (though I started waking up as it started getting light and people started moving around, and I got up around 8am feeling okay, and I didn't feel especially nap-craving during the day). Jamie brought down her mandala coloring book supplies as no one was upstairs, and so some folks at the table I was at (myself included). Everyone but me is involved with the Casa, so they got talking about that, and I was just passively enjoying their company, colored-pencilling-in my Forgiveness Mandala. FCS-Ian was over by the fireplace chatting with some people, and at some point I heard something about church and my ears perked up and then I turned around in my chair and eventually I migrated over to the couch (I kind of regret not taking my paper with me, as it got cleaned up unbeknownst to me).

We had closing worship outside.

I walked out with Jeff B. and I think it was the only time I'd been outside the hostel except for getting in and out of a car. I told him one of these years I needed to actually go out and walk around because I never do. He said he'd been sort of meaning to as well, so we'd commit to do it with each other next year. (Because I am me, I put that in my GoogleCalendar after I got home -- which I told him I would.)

We put stuff from our pockets into the center of the circle in the shape of a cross.
I don't know what she was responding to, but from across the circle I heard India say, as if explaining to someone (she was on the side of the circle with all the kids), "The cross is what makes us whole."

We passed Communion around the circle, and when Molly offered me the Cup she blessed my "sacred, dogged questioning."
[Edit: When Missy gave me the bread, she said, Know that when you eat this bread, "God is inside of you." When I gave Jeff's partner Julia the bread, I said: This is the Bread of Life, may you be sustained by the community you have found here and by all your communities.]

We did a hug circle! I regret not speaking up last year when we started to dismiss without having done a hug circle.

After I hugged her, India said something like, so many people give wimpy hugs (with a tone that implied that she really appreciated my serious hug). Christy Z. I think it was who was near her said I'm a good hugger. I affirmed that and said she could come find me any Sunday. (India was the last person in the Communion circle, and Molly and Jeff M. laid hands on her and blessed her.)

Earlier, we'd put sticky sheets on our backs and written blessings on each other. It's standard Post-It Note sort of adhesive, so people's started coming off their coats as we went along, but mine was still on my back after everything was over. Alissa took it off my back before we got in the car and folded it up for me (as the instructions were for us to not look at our own until we got home).
good friend
New Friendship + connections
beautifully committed
true + honest - i love it!
A friend!
blessings for good questions
Deep & Authentic
At the hostel, we leave our outdoor shoes in the front foyer, and as we were cleaning up today, India et al put blessings in everyone's shoes. I put mine in my back pocket and didn't read it until I got home: "You're loved by many!"
Tags: church, church: somerville: ucc: retreat: 2012, people: church: jeff b., people: church: jeff m.: julia, people: church: missy, people: pastors: molly

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