Life-giving Meetings?!?

Lately, I have been to a few meetings that included exciting, life-giving messages. That may seem normal to you, but it is new to me. I often grumble about meetings, especially ones in the evening which take me away from sacred time with my husband and young children. When someone asks my 5-year-old daughter what her Mommy’s job is, she replies, “Mommy goes to lots of meetings!” Yes, as a pastor, I attend lots of meetings. But few of them are truly inspiring, life-altering or energy-sustaining. This morning, I had that experience during an annual church business meeting (called Charge Conferences in the UMC world)…. GASP! It was this questions that caught me: “When we preach about love, will we have credibility if we do not have unity?” And yesterday, I had the same experience around a 12-step table when someone shared an observation about who is speaking the voices in our heads (God is our ultimate parent). For those who didn’t know, my father was an alcoholic, like his father before him. It was my 2nd meeting of Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA). I was resistant after my first attempt - but everything we experience in life affects us in some way, and I am looking forward to learning about how my family history influences me in my relationships and coping skills today. As the snow floats gently down outside the window, and I smell the pumpkin chocolate chips rising in the oven, I give thanks for meetings, questions, God’s nudges and one more day to continue doing the work. I pray one day that God’s doors will truly be open to ALL people!

Emily Flemming