Plant, Nurture and Patience

Plant, Nurture and Patience

by the Rev. Bob Olsen, Deacon, St. George's, Carmichael

The prayer following Communion in the service for the ordination of deacons includes this sentence: “We pray that name may be to us an effective example in word and action, in love and patience and in holiness of life. Grant that we, with him, may serve you now…” Many years ago, as a new deacon, I wished that folks would take up this call to serve others, forgetting that the prayer also included one for “patience.”

While my parish, St George’s, has always been good at outreach, it was usually by supporting other agencies. I wished they would do some hands on ministries themselves. I came to realize that I could not push them into ministries. Through my own work as a deacon and modeling service, I learned that the desired results could be achieved, if I had patience. Sure enough, overtime, St. George’s has developed a community garden that is in its sixth year, and is reaching out to folks in our community and supporting St Matthew’s food closest with vegetables during the summer. An outreach committee has formed and is helping veterans, and it is reaching out in other ways to our neighbors.

Maybe because it is spring and we are getting ready for the gardening season, I started thinking that gardens and living out that ordination prayer had a lot in common. As deacons can plant seeds/ideas and nurture them, God provides the increase, in God’s time. In each of our communities, there are opportunities for ministry. With prayer, patience and listening, our congregations will find their call and answer.

 

 

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