Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday after Ash Wednesday

Today I signed a check for a little less than $160,000.00. There is something frightening about signing my name and have a multi-thousand dollar transaction happen. It was not from my personal wealth (of which there is not any), but from my parish and the diocese of Little Rock. The check is for the purchase of two adjacent properties properties on the end of our block on West Main Street. We now own the entire block that fronts on Main, the south side of the block. This is a big investment for us, since we do not have any extra money to throw around, and we are looking at such a tottering economy. It is, however, a step toward the future of possibilities for this parish. Some will say that I can be pretty spendthrift with other people's money, and that is something that a pastor has to be always aware of and avoid, since the property and wealth of a church are not his own. (The motto on my coat of arms Duc in altum-Cast out into the deep, means that I should be bold. It does not mean that I should push others out into the deep.) At the same time, a pastor has to have a vision for the future of a church, even if the members thereof do not. Pastors come and go, and the changes and plans of one are quickly dismantled and overthrown by the next. They are not making more land, though, and it is good to have a lot of it if you ever (as an institution) want to grow. May this transaction be according to God's will for us. If it be, we will have nothing to fear, and if it be not, then it will simply be another example, among the countless, of human folly. Let us pray that it be the former rather than the latter.
O Holy Spirit of God, take me as your disciple; guide me, illuminate me, sanctify me. Bind my hands that they may do no evil; cover my eyes that they may see it no more; sanctify my heart that evil may not dwell within me. Be my God; be my guide. Wherever you lead me, I will go: whatever you forbid me, I will renounce; and whatever you command me, in your strength, I will do. Lead me, then, unto the fullness of your truth. Amen.

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