This past Sunday, I suddenly realized that I am DOING what I came here to do, and what I have KNOWN for a very long time was my mission and purpose on this planet – to bring forth a new/original paradigm for being Priest in a new/original paradigm for being Church. I sit in awe-filled wonder over the fact that I have arrived and that I am HERE doing what I have been trying for twenty years to do. Here it is, right in front of me. It’s been here all along, but now it seems it has wholly (holy) and completely arrived.
What I thought was the final piece of the puzzle (the Sunday Service which is launching this Sunday, August 16th 8:00 am at Inner Sun Yoga Studio), was it, but it seems there was more. It’s not enough to simply show up on Sunday morning and facilitate a worship/prayer service, being Church and being Priest is about being a vessel of God’s love through the overall care and wellbeing of those in your community. Part of that care is to provide opportunities for your community’s psycho/spiritual nourishment, growth and development which I am already providing via Authentic Freedom Academy. Part of the responsibility of a priest is pastoral counseling and support which I provide as a Spiritual Director. Part of the job of a priest is to be a vehicle through which God’s healing is more fully present to individuals – which I provide through Reiki, Spiritual Direction, etc. Another task of a priest is sacrament – rites and rituals that bring people together in community and which help them to consciously connect with God’s grace. This I have had an opportunity to do through the weddings, ordinations and other rites of passage I have facilitated. This past Sunday, I had an opportunity to witness how the sacramental part of this task is even more present for me than I originally thought and how it is unfolding in a way that reflects the manifestation of a new/original paradigm of priesthood and a new/original paradigm of being church in the world.
This past Sunday, the sacramental part of being “priest” and being “church” presented itself in what would traditionally be called “anointing of the sick.” I was intuitively led to offer this service to a client who had been recently diagnosed with cancer and who is facing surgery this week (today as a matter of fact, please keep her and her family in your prayers). As I sat with my client and her family in a “make it up as we go along” service I realized that THIS is the new/original model of priesthood and church. There were no rubrics to follow, only the guidance and prompting of the Holy Spirit and the immediate needs of the family. We prayed. We shared in ritual. The family told stories, hugs and tears. We read from a sacred text chosen by my client. We sang a song that held great meaning for the family and that uplifted everyone with humor. The service ended with my client offering cake and coffee (if that isn’t communion, I don’t know what is!). It was perfect. It was sublime. It was AWE-some! As I sat in reflection of this experience, all I could do was feel humbled and in awe over whatever it was that allowed me to be witness to this sacred experience.
This is what it means to be priest. This is what it means to be church. No rubrics. No doctrine. No collar or special robes. No golden vessels or special laws. Only rapt attention to the immediate needs of those before us – their need for healing, comfort, nourishment and support in a way that honors their own unique beliefs and personal experiences of the Divine. I am humbled and in awe over twenty years of holding onto a vision, believing when everyone else (sometimes me included) thought I was insane, only to suddenly realize it is here – a new/original way of being priest and of being church in a world desperately in need of both.
If you live in the Oshkosh area, please join us this Sunday for our first Sunday Service. 8:00 am (doors open at 7:40) at Inner Sun Yoga Studio. Learn more HERE.