What a whirl wind the end of last week was! Two days of battle in Sacramento warding off movements for "centralization, standardization, and a higher professionalization" of the Church. Arrrgh! I don't know whether I am into critical theory (Habermas, et al), a more charismatic sense of the church, or maybe I am just a curmudgeon. But I believe the whole church, right down to the loose change counting and light bulb changing, has to be a human, relational Lake Wobegon kind of organism -- not a corporate system of FAX's and forms.
Things were much better, but considerably busier, when I got to Reno: 6 meetings, 4 worship services, and a 4-hour workshop, plus a dinner with some church folks one night and a dinner with the new confirmands the next.
It is so very good to see Trinity on track these days. The spirit of the congregation is warm and upbeat. They are a center of hope and energy. I met parish nurses to help with our new Desert Angels ministry, a development person to help us find ways to fund diocesan mission, and someone who is actually learning about stewardship -- our Achilles' heel.
My time at Trinity left me encouraged, uplifted, and inspired. Along the way we confirmed and received a batch of new members, mostly young adults. There were about 7, a nice number, but the main thing wasn't the number. It was that they had genuinely bonded with each other and truly grasped what the Episcopal Church is about. Rev. Stefani is clearly gifted at building community. That is what we need. I am grateful beyond words for her ministry at Trinity. And the children's service, crafted by the Rev. Kathy Hopner, was the best of all -- lots of kids worshiping joyfully alongside their young parents. The church in Reno is just beginning. That is how the church should be -- always just beginning.