This week, I had the privilege of spending time with colleagues at the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Marana, which is north of Tucson. We focused on call, covenant and community. My call is to be a minister. My first covenant is my relationship with God. My secondary covenant is to be in service to the United Methodist Church (UMC), appointed by the bishop. My community is Journey. My community is also my United Methodist colleagues. I have another community of clergy colleagues in other denominations. I have still another community of United Methodist colleagues who cross state borders. Then there is the community in which I live, as well as the community in which I socialize. There is my immediate family, my extended family, and family with whom I have no connection. Yet, they are all communities.
God holds me fast to my covenant with God. The bishop holds me accountable to my covenant with the UMC. I have to hold myself accountable to the many circles of community to which I belong. However, my community must also hold me accountable. Sometimes it gets messy, dirty, chaotic. Sometimes it is beautifully rich, fulfilling and satisfying.
Each of us have a call, a covenant and a community. May we find ways to stay connected to each of these, by first and foremost holding fast to God.