Sustainable Ministry in the 21st Century
Message from Reverend Elaine
One thing I have always appreciated about some people and just about every canine I have ever known is their faithfulness to routine. A set of routines for living is like an outline for experience. My grandmother had supper on the table sometime between 4:30 and 5:30, without fail.
My grandfather, on the other hand, would sometimes make himself a full breakfast in the wee hours before dawn. He was a retired engineer for the Southern Pacific, and had last driven a regular route from El Paso, TX to Lordsburg, NM in the very early morning. Every once in a while, he liked to revert to his old routine of waking and starting the day sometime around 2 a.m.
Routines are like railroad tracks that can keep us headed in an intentional direction. Some of us are prone to go off the rails more than others, and thank goodness for it! Routine life without spontaneity would be boring for sure. But I have noticed some people and most animals are just better at establishing those outlines. For others of us, it takes practice.
I have found that appreciating and adhering to simple routines is especially comforting and good for the well-being of body and spirit during this time of global challenge and transformation.
Here’s one of my favorite routines: I rise early and upon coming downstairs, I drink some cold water (good for the heart!). I stare into the middle distance a bit and then I make coffee. The moment the bzzzzzz of the coffee grinder goes off, I hear a “clunkity clunk” from upstairs, which is Elsa Dog landing on the floor. Moments later, she is in the kitchen saying good morning. Without fail: bzzzzzz, clunkity clunk. What is a favorite morning routine for you?
How about the evening? A favorite routine of mine is cleaning my teeth. How mundane is that? It can be steadying to appreciate even the most humble routines.
Consider how many of us are brushing our teeth routinely every night before going to bed. I find it comforting to reflect on the many folks who faithfully carry out this positive self-care routine, come hell or high water. Whatever else is happening, feel the clean! I like to multitask—brush and send goodwill to other brushers at the same time.
As you make your coffee, brush your teeth, and all in between life-enhancing routines, I salute you. The old hymn says, “Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.” Sounds like a plan.
Reverend Elaine Bomford
Rev. Elaine Bomford provides worship services twice a month, and provides pastoral care and life event rituals such as weddings, baby dedications, and funerals, in conjunction with Rev. Sandra Whippie, our minister emeritus, and Rev. Telos Whitfield, our former minister.
We have Circle Sunday the first Sunday of each month, and the remaining Sundays are supplied with guest ministers and lay leaders.
~ Board of Trustees
Rev. Elaine Bomford attended Harvard Divinity School and has served congregations in Vermont, New Hampshire, and elsewhere in New England. In addition, she has a rich background in music. Although “retired,” she continues to serve, as she terms it, as an Itinerant Minister on a regular basis to now several congregations, including Chesterfield, and also as guest minister.We are thrilled that she has included us in her schedule this year.