Three Things (or, simplicity redux)

Pastel colors for environmentaldesignI’m guessing it’ll come as no surprise to most of you that I like to pack my days as full as possible. I’ve been like this my whole life – in 4th grade my teacher started an anonymous advice box where students could submit questions of any sort, and get advice or information.  I remember earnestly and eagerly asking for advice for how I could possibly choose amongst all the things I loved and wanted to do – even then I knew there wasn’t enough time to fit it all in.  The story that gets told about being overly busy is that it’s a matter of being overburdened, but this has never been my problem.  My problem is loving the world, too much. Apparently, I’m still working on the same issues I was working on in 4th grade.

I’ve been thinking about this dilemma especially over these past few weeks as I’ve been both overjoyed at all the ministry (in the form of meetings, pastoral care, emails, worship preparation and leadership, classes, interfaith collaboration, and planning for the coming year….) that has made up this first month of this new ministry.  It’s all my favorite.  And yet I’m also finding once again that there is simply not enough time to do it all, especially given that I do also love being with my family, and being a good mom and partner.

All this reminds me of the sermon I offered in June on Simplicity – with the story from the Alchemist and the need to let go of all but the absolutely most important things, else risking “spilling” everything, or missing out on life as a whole.  I’ve been trying once again to contemplate what those “most important things” are, especially as I head into my new ministry.

Inspired by the book, Simple Church, I’ve decided to formulate a three-point mission statement that will keep me oriented through the coming year – and help me make good choices about where I can best spend my time – choices that will best enable us to do the kind of ministry we all hope for.  This week, while I’m away in beautiful Durango and Telluride for a family vacation, I’ll be thinking about this – remembering where we have been over the past few years and where the church has been in the past few decades, and also where we need to go, and from this, I’ll finalize what I understand as my three-point mission.  In a future blog post (On the Faith Forward Foothills blog), I will share what I’ve come up with.

What would your three-point mission be? For your faith and spiritual journey? For your relationship with and service for our congregation? There’s so many things we might do, so many ways we might spend our time – but what are the right things, the things that will allow us to – as our new draft mission statement imagines – unleash courageous love?

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About Rev. Gretchen Haley

Gretchen Haley serves as the Senior Minister of the Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins, CO. She's relentlessly curious about most things, especially the big stuff of theology, the beauty of creation and poetry, the magic of collaboration, and the great joy and often-great-depth of popular (and less popular) television and music. She and her partner of 17 years, Carri, have 2 children, Gracie (10) and Josef (8).
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One Response to Three Things (or, simplicity redux)

  1. Pingback: On a Mission: Finding Focus for 2016-17 – Faith Forward – A Foothills Blog

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