With the help of friends, I've come to realize that the Call (that "capital C" Call) is bigger than any one congregation's circumstances. Speaking of being called to a congregation can certainly muddy the waters of definition. Call is bigger than any one community or circumstance. I worked a Cursillo weekend (Maryland 95) last weekend. It was just what I needed to get this question straightened out in my heart and mind. It was clear that my Call to be a priest was still there and strong as ever. My call to Gathered by Christ has finished - but that is only a part of my Call.
One of our fellow spiritual advisers last weekend was the Rev. Eddie Blue from Holy Trinity in Baltimore. It's been a great blessing to get to know Eddie+ through the teaming process and we found ourselves cutting up quite a bit ... nothing like a little clerical stream of semi-consciousness humor to keep things interesting. When I said to Eddie+ that I was "losing my call" to this congregation, he replied, "You haven't lost your call, you've lost your cure." Hmmm ... hadn't thought about it that way.
Webster's dictionary defines cure as a noun in three basic ways:
- A remedy, healing
- A means to preserve meat
- A spiritual or religious charge of the people
Today, I returned from Diocesan Convention. This is my last official act as Vicar of Gathered by Christ. I distributed all the letters of transfer this past week to the remaining few members. The last one went to our delegate to convention ... he couldn't leave until after he finished his duties!
So I've completed my work there. Now to write the resignation letter to my bishop to make it all official. It was a cure from God ... in more ways than one.