A Reflection from Transition Priest in Charge, The Rev. Dr. Paul St. Germain
Ecclesiastes famously speaks of “seasons” in life. As residents of an area where seasons are both celebrated and endured, we may ask ourselves the characteristics of this season of transition St. Luke’s is entering. Will it be busy, hectic, filled with new life and new faces – and maybe the odd traffic jam or two? Or will it be quieter and more introspective, and involve looking “inside” ourselves seeking discernment, guidance, with hopefully an “end in sight”?
The answer to these questions is perhaps a very Anglican: “Yes, and…” . Transitions contain many of these characteristics, as well as a fair amount of uncertainty. They call us to cultivate trust in others, ourselves, a process, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
St. Luke’s is a remarkable community – with a history of service and ministry in Portland that has blossomed into this new century with vision and strength and character and love. Our profound thanks continue to go with Ben for the grace and leadership he brought during the past many years. May blessings be upon him and his family as they begin a new life in New York.
With Lent just around the corner, and the appointment of an interim dean a little way ahead, perhaps now is a time to take a slow, collective breath, and pause. Not to “bask in past accomplishments” – or rush into “building the dreams of tomorrow” – but simply to take space, and in the familiar words of the psalmist: “listen to the ‘still, small voice’ ”.
There is an apocryphal story of WWII Britain, in which King George VI dreamt he faced an open door leading into darkness. As he prayed for help, suddenly, Christ appeared. The king fell to his knees and cried: “Lord, give me a light, that I may see the way ahead for my people!” Jesus replied: “Now we walk in darkness. But stand – and take my hand. We will walk forward together.”
It is a privilege to serve as temporary priest in charge as St. Luke’s continues its walk ahead. May our time together be blessed.