We are coming to the end of the Season of Easter, summer is nearly upon us, and a week from this Sunday we will celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost, the birthday of the church, the feast that reminds us that the Spirit of God came and filled the church and continues to fill us and empowers us as members of Christ's body. As such Pentecost seems to be a fitting place to begin to see how things have gone and see where the Spirit may be leading us, and is doing in our midst. When Tripp Hudgins and David Gortner gathered people including myself to see if God was in the idea of an ecumenical church start one of the questions was is the Spirit of God in this and how is the Spirit moving. We set out to start Reconciler because the consensus of all those gathered was that the vision was of the Spirit. One of the areas of learning for us early on was being attentive to the ways in which the Spirit moved with and in and around circumstances. We are at another stage where discernment of this is necessary.
Here is some of my reflections on direction the Spirit may be moving us in light of our circumstances. I still feel that some form of team ministry with pastors of other denominations is still part of what God is about at Reconciler. Especially since it seems that denominational structures and identities are currently not flexible enough, perhaps for good reason, to accommodate full affiliation in all three denominations at once. So, any connection to structures outside ourselves may continue to need to happen through the clergy. However, it may also mean re-conceiving how such a team works and may not mean having all three pastors equally involved in the day to day pastoring of the church. Also, we have kind of kept the Community of the Holy Trinity as a somewhat silent partner in the work of Reconciler. However, Holy Trinity is what has allowed Kate and I to continue to be part of Reconciler, and the community has provided space for meetings and potlucks and worship space. Currently, Holy Trinity and Reconciler pray in the same space. as we move forward it seems that it is time to in the least describe to ourselves and others what the relationship between community and congregation exist. In part it seems that the community provides the support and continuity that at least right now the congregation on its own could not provide. I am considering presenting to my denomination that it seek to acknowledge my work as Prior of the Community of the Holy Trinity that includes being pastor of Church of Jesus Christ, Reconciler. A closer and more explicit relationship has advantages for Reconciler as the community may take more ownership of what is happening at Reconciler and we at Reconciler can also take some ownership of what is happening with the community. These are some of my current thoughts on how God may be leading, but like when we began and and each juncture in our short life as a congregation discerning the movement of the Spirit is prayerfully considering and planning together and seeing how these things play out as we seek to faithfully follow Christ.