Musings from Mother Jenny 05.24.2024

For the past seven months, I have driven the same route every single time I go from my apartment in North Old Town to Grace Church. This route is easy. I don’t have to think about which turns to make. There’s never any traffic.


That is until Tuesday morning when I arrived at a stop light to turn left and there was a long line of idling cars on Slater’s Lane. Indecisiveness took hold. Do I turn left and join the delay or do I turn right and try on a new route?


I turned right and was delighted to discover an alternative way of getting to Grace Church. Had I stayed with the familiar, I would not have expanded the landscape of where I live. I would not have seen a different way forward.


The same can be said for parishes in transition. Sometimes the familiar ways of being church can leave us idling in place, unable to proceed forward. On the other hand, when there are opportunities for unexpected turns, this often leads to discovery and expansion of our understanding.


As the discernment process continues to unfold, I am grateful for the Vestry’s willingness to make some unexpected turns. Venturing forth on unknown roads of exploration and possibility, decisions are being considered faithfully and navigated prayerfully.

May this prayer of Thomas Merton be reassuring to us all:


God, we have no idea where we are going. We do not see the road ahead of us. We cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do we really know ourselves, and the fact that we think we are following your will does not mean that we are actually doing so. But we believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And we hope we have that desire in all that we are doing. We hope that we will never do anything apart from that desire. And we know that if we do this you will lead us by the right road, though we may know nothing about it. Therefore, we will trust you always though we may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. We will not fear, for you are ever with us, and you will never leave us to face our perils alone.


Mother Jenny+