Friday Five -Shepherds within my life

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Over at Revgals the Friday Five Challenge is this:

I’ve just finished a great little book by L. William Countryman called Living on the Border of the Holy: Renewing the Priesthood of All.

Countryman suggests that not only do all Christians have a ministry, but all of us have a priesthood. The “priesthood of all believers” comes to mind, and he takes that farther to suggest that humanity shares a ‘universal human priesthood’. Every human has the capacity to encounter and then pass on something of transcendent significance.

For today, think back over your life, and share about five (or more) who have been priests in your life (or ministers, pastors, whatever language is comfortable for you). In sharing, know that names are not necessary.

Do share a link in the comments here if you play along today on your blog. We’d love to read about your richness of experience.

My priests and pastors I think will come out in flocks of shepherds:

1.  The groups of counselors I had at Camp Van Es growing up as a young person in the Canadian District of the Moravian Church in Canada.  I was the clingy camper who usually needed a bit extra of their attention and certainly of their love.  I didn’t always get it at home but I could count for the unconditional love to be shared with me at camp and retreats at Van Es.    Camp then become the place where I accepted both Christ and Christ’s call for my life.   Each of the shepherds guided me along and helped me become the pastor I am today.

2.   Another group of shepherds from Canada were the Canadian District pastors that served the churches there while I was discerning my call to ministry.  Never did one of them turn me away when I would need to ramble about my sense of call and each of them encouraged me in different ways.   I have deep gratitude for them and am happy to serve as colluegues with them now in the wider church.

3.   A girl (well at least this girl) would be lost without best friends and I have two – sadly they live in different states but texting, email and Facebook make communication easy when we just want to remind each other we love you or offer prayers, or hugs.   And cell phones with Long distance makes the world go around in terms of long distance friendship.

4.   A small group of ladies who I’ve meet at church, through littlemans school, and through the community –that I’m proud to call friends have helped pick me up when I’ve fallen on my face and are there when I need some been there done that support.

5.   My group of “safe huggers” my newly made up term for those in my life whose hugs lift me up and fill me in ways I can’t explain.  Hugs are a recent addition to my life (other than the ones I give on a regular basis as pastor).   My space has been heavily guarded by years of pain and hurt and therefore I never really allowed people to hug me and when they did it ceertainly didn’t penetrate my being.  My “safe huggers” hugs share Gods love with me, are often what I assume a hug from a mom would feel like or are just completely safe in all ways.  I bet I could even cry in one of those hugs and it would be okay with them.   The word “safe huggers” came out of a need for me to distinguish between those whom give me life (non pastor related) and to those I often end up giving life to as their pastor (don’t get me wrong love most of those hugs to but there’s a difference for me).  My shepherds of safe huggers consist of about 5 people and I’m extremely grateful for them!

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