Weekly Message from T. J.

Turn in Your Homework

I had a little problem growing up. It was completely self made, and no matter what my parents and my teachers did, every so often it would come back. I was one of those kids who just wouldn’t do his homework. I would have periods where I’d do better, and it always felt good. But then time with friends, working on theatrical productions, or some other thing would come into my life and I’d stop caring or just not have the time to get the work done. It was a constant source of tension for my parents, I’m not so proud to say.

Some of you are aware that I released a book this week. I’ve been very pleased by the response to it, and the kind words of support for this project mean a lot to me. One of the things I do in the book—even though I call it by another name—is assign homework. I was a little appalled with myself that I’d do this, to be honest. After all, homework has been a nemesis to me for a lot of my life. But it’s also been one of the most important parts of my later years of life.

Every day I write twice in a journal: once in the morning and once before I go to bed. In the morning I set intentions for the day, and in the evening I take a look how I did on those intentions. I write about other things, too. This is work that I am doing in my home, yes. So it’s a kind of homework. But it is something more than that, too. It’s a way of making promises to myself and then seeing how well I do in keeping those promises to myself. And promises we make to ourselves are the most important ones to keep.

Over the next few weeks your Stewardship Team is going to be sending out some material about the Stewardship Campaign this year. They will be asking you to make a pledge of financial support to the church, and I know that members of our community will do this. I’d like to ask you for a favor, though. I’d like you to do a little homework if you would.

Please just take a few moments and write down what you’d like our community to look like, what you’d like our community to be doing, five years from now. And if you’d be so kind, please turn in your homework. You can leave it as a comment here or you can email me at the address below. It is important for us all to be thinking actively about the vision we have for our community in the coming years. As our youngest members will be moving to adulthood, what kinds of experiences should the church hold for them? As we all mature together and we welcome new people, what do we want to be here for us? Really reach, really write, and really let me know. And don’t worry, I’ll be grading on a curve.

Many blessings to you on your work.

Rev. T. J.

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