Darlings, just a quicky, and you’re gonna do all the heavy lifting!
Last night I was chatting with a new friend and was having the conversation we’ve all had many times, where we explain how it is possible to cherish Scripture without taking it all literally. That was one part of the conversation. Another part of the conversation was about being a clergy person, and how the image and persona of clergy is changing in this era and how I want to speak to that topic, use digital media to mentor clergy in the exploration of that topic together, and model that in my own ministry. I said, basically, that the reason I am such an unusual character to him is that I’m one person, not two: and that most clergymen he had met and known in his life were obliged to have a public persona and a private one, where they felt safe to “let down their hair.”
I imagine you’ve had this talk with folks before. That wasn’t the “holy cow” moment for me. The “holy cow” moment for me was when this man said to me, “You’re the only minister I’ve ever met who has an active creative life.”
I said, “You’re KIDDING!” But no, he wasn’t. For him, a pastor was a person who was serious, studious, and spent his time making parish rounds, preaching and attending potlucks.
I thought about this, and I thought about all of you, my pigeons, men and women of many ages who are indeed scholars and Bible readers and parish visitors and potluck goers and preachers, but who are also knitters and singers and guitarists and composers and painters and chefs and gourmet bakers and sculptors and actors and poets and quilters and filmmakers and milliners, weavers and dancers and I thought I’d ask you to please comment here and share with my friend the ways that you, an ordained minister, are creatively active. I think he would get a real kick out of seeing the variety of ways you express your creativity.
Now that I think about it, where has creative expression fit into our limited repertoire of clergy personae? Not much, eh? You don’t see that milquetoast pastor dad on “Seventh Heaven” or the bookish minister from “Gilead” or the kindly Rev. Alden on “Little House On the Prairie” plotting out a new sewing project or taking tap dance lessons or packing up his viola to go play with the local symphony. They do ministry stuff all day. So if you didn’t know any better, you might go away thinking that ministers aren’t creatively inspired people or people who love art, need art, and need to make art.
So do tell. What is your creative joy and inspiration?
P.S. Thanks for your feedback on the banner. I know it’s not quite the right dimensions. Mea culpa. I’ll be leaving it up for awhile and then trying another one. Because it’s fun, and we’re going to keep at it until I find one that feels just right, like Goldilocks.