Julian of Norwich, in a time of doubt and struggle, wrote: All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.
This is my last column in the Circuit Rider because on October 1, I will be beginning a new journey as the Coordinator for Imagine No Malaria with the Iowa Annual Conference. It is a long job title but a very short and intense ministry that I am very excited about beginning.
My new position will take me across the state, working with clergy and laity, young and old, small churches and the biggest churches, as we together raise funds to end death and suffering from malaria by 2015. While it might seem like only an outreach project, the truth is, I understand this campaign to be something bigger in the life of our Iowa Annual Conference of the UnitedMethodistChurch. Working together on this effort will help us build bridges between conservative and liberal sides of our church. Focusing outward on mission and partnering with our community to raise funds through health fairs and 5k runs and lemonAID stands will help us build relationships outside the walls and revitalize our churches. That is something that YOU have experienced here in Marengo. As we turned our hearts to both local and global mission, the Holy Spirit moved in and a spark of love and light ignited in this church.
The new day dawns, / and I’m practicing my purpose once again. / it is fresh and it is fruitful if I win but if I lose, / Ooooo I don’t know. / I will be tired but I will turn and I will go, / Only guessing til I get there then I’ll know, / Oh oh oh I will know.
I was fresh out of seminary and you were ready to become a fruitful church… but we didn’t know it was going to work between us. It was a wild guess on our parts… but something amazing for God’s part.
All the children walking home past the factories / could see the light that’s shining in my window as I write this song to you. / All the cars running fast along the interstate / can feel the love that radiates / illuminating what I know is true / All will be well. / Even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself, / All will be well. / You can ask me how but only time will tell.
I don’t know what God has in store for this church… but I know that God will be with you and all shall be well. I know that God has led you to embrace an amazing mission: to reflect the light of God in Marengo and Iowa County as you step out into the world and pass it on. I know that the Holy Spirit has been moving strongly in your midst and that God will not leave you or forsake you. I know that all will be well. You can ask me how, but only time will tell.
Keep it up and don’t give up / and chase your dreams and you will find / all in time.
You are my first church… and I love you dearly and I will miss you terribly… but all shall be well. Keep your hearts focused on what God has called you to do. Give your lives to living out that vision. God bless you all.