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Simple and not so simple

The Rev. Monique Stone

Sometimes I feel that ministry is just so simple.

To stop in for a visit just to say hello and share a wee cup of tea.

To hang out in the community garden and help pull some weeds.

To volunteer at the local fair burger booth and assemble some patties on a bun.

These simple things are actually part of my job! I suspect awesome and simple things are part of your discipleship as well.

Of course there are many days that are filled with challenge. Doubts, frustrations, and difficulties never seem that far away. Some days are not so simple at all. But it sure is nice when a simple thing happens (and by ‘nice’ I mean ‘absolutely necessary the odd time so that we all don’t jump ship.’)

A couple of years ago I met Sara Shisler Goff, an Episcopal Priest in Maryland, USA. We met at a conference so we have been connected on Facebook ever since (of course!). Social Media has enabled me to read Sara’s stories about doing ministry in Baltimore. While she partnered with other faith leaders on the streets during the Baltimore riots I prayed here in Ottawa each time she posted something about what was going on all around her community (kudos to Facebook for inspiring some simple ways to connect with each other!)

Earlier this week, when Sara and her co-conspirators at The SlateProject.org posted the video Remember: You were once Foreigners to bring awareness to the Syrian refugee crisis I wondered if it would be simple for ministry leaders who hardly know each other and who live thousands of kilometers apart to help each other out and connect over a shared call to react to an urgent world issue. I wondered how easy it might be to adapt the video for Canada. Technology, I thought, should in theory increase our ability to collaborate (this from someone who doesn’t really know how difficult it is to adapt a video!)

So very simply, I asked.

And very simply (and graciously,) they said yes.

And in 72 simple hours, a little video was adapted for the Canadian context.

And it was pretty simple to just post it on YouTube for anyone to see and share around

Sometimes indeed the ministry journey can be pretty simple. There are tools and attitudes and gracious people in all of our communities that can make it so.

Yes, sometimes it is not. But this time it was.

Simple and not so simple: that is what the themes of this blog will be guided by. We will talk about some of the simple stuff because it is good to know that each of us can do inspiring things for the kingdom with grace-filled simplicity. This blog will also invite conversation about the not so simple, because it is good to know that we all deal with the tough stuff too.

Simple and not so simple: might both be needed for our journey.

The Rev. Monique Stone

About The Rev. Monique Stone

I am blessed to be the Incumbent at the Parish of Huntley in Carp, Ontario (part of the Diocese of Ottawa) and have lots of fun contributing to the leadership of our rural parish. Whether I am sitting at the local coffee shop or flipping burgers at the annual Fair I consider authentic engagement with the broader community integral to my ministry. I personally feel that this period of church history with all its changes, declines, doubts and concerns is exciting, inspiring and best approached with a sense of hope and a sense of humour.
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