By Josh Barrett, a deputy from the Diocese of Rochester
Over the past couple months, I have been reflecting and praying about the direction of our Church. We recently convened as a Province, and soon will gather once again to do the holy work of being together as Church in Austin, Texas. The Holy Spirit is up to something big all across our parishes, dioceses, province and larger Church. I would venture to say that I think we got a taste of it in our time together.
As a first-time deputy, I did not come to the Province meeting with many expectations. The reputation of Provincial meetings carries the weight of outdated bureaucracy. Honestly, that was what I was anticipating and that is what I observed at first. However, I witnessed Christ move within us as a Province as we prayed, worshipped, and asked holy questions.
At the Holy Eucharist, I was asked to assist the deacon with setting the table. I fumbled a couple times. I forgot things on the credence table. I handed the deacon the wrong thing at the wrong time. I probably even made the deacon faintly question my seminarian credentials. I was quite embarrassed, to say the least. Upon reflection, I came to realize that experience might represent us as a Christian people. I fumbled my way through the moment, but the task was completed - Jesus showed up and we were made one with Christ. This is what we do best as the church. God takes our best efforts to “do it right” and then God completes the best work. I pray we show up to Austin with all of our best work, all our deepest prayer and all of our courageous disciple-hearts, even if we have to fumble our way to the table together, over and over again.
Josh is a junior at Virginia Theological Seminary. He is a first-time deputy of the Diocese of Rochester. When Josh isn’t in church, you can find him in a nice coffee shop, endlessly talking about the Great British Baking Show, or swinging away in his hammock.