Energy! Every parish needs plenty of energy. The energy that comes from the sun certainly gives us a lift and makes the church building and environment more pleasant, the energy that comes from the Spirit leads our hearts and minds along the right path, but the energy I’m speaking of is human energy. This is one of the great gifts that we all have and are free to share. The ability to know and love your church, want to be busy and active in your parish, seeking out and connecting with like-minded fellow parishioners with a desire to do things together, this is what we need, lots and lots of people with energy to share.
Ever since the day I was ordained I have been in awe of the people who bring their energy to the parish and I admire their huge contribution to making the parish an attractive spiritual home. It takes energy to set up a parish in the first place, getting church, hall and school built! Then maintaining the facilities while building the community takes even more energy. When you come into any situation where there is positive energy it immediately connects with that part of yourself that if joyful and able to be uplifted, we celebrate and rejoice in such an atmosphere. We have that here and we are so blessed.
I have also learnt over time that not everyone’s energy is abundant and flowing powerfully at the same time! There are days when nothing seems hard, when the energy flows and while we may be tired at days end, it is a contented fatigue. But of course, there are those days when the energy is sapped, we feel tired and listless and can barely look after our own needs never mind thinking about doing anything for others, and that’s ok too. I’ve learnt the hard way that when my energy levels are up, someone on a bit of a downer can find me very annoying! Too bright and cheerful, too many ideas and plans can drive another person bonkers. ‘Leave me alone, disappear, go away’ are all perfectly normal responses and that’s just fine too.
Advent is an opportunity to begin again as another Church year is kicked off. The wreath with its ever-green foliage is an affirmation of life, the candles are only lit one by one, week by week and the bright white light of the nativity won’t burn until the circle is first completed, marking the time spent making ready. If you have energy, and can share it, know that the parish needs you. If you are tired and have given as much as you can, know that the parish appreciates you. If you need a little booster to get back in touch with your spiritual energy, then Advent will be a perfect time you.