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living into the serenity prayer AND the prayer of st. francis...

This will be complicated to write - but important.  It has to do with my discernment to retire from one form of ministry so that I might have the energy and grace to do another.  A few wise colleagues who have entered this world of clergy retirement told me that I would experience both a season of grief during my waning months at church; and, then another encounter with sorrow after departing. I knew that they were right. I trusted their hard won wisdom. And I had no idea how this would manifest itself.  For while grieving is normative to this moment in ministry, it is also unique unto each minister.

What I have discovered thus far is a profound sadness in relationship to missed opportunities. Not sins or mischief, mind you, but times when we were unable to seize the moment. Some were inevitable, others of my own making, and a few stem from institutional stagnation and/or fear. None of this was born of malice. 
There has been enough shared gaffes, victories, times of courage as well as …

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