About dealing with the stress of waiting and not knowing:
My spiritual director just keeps telling me to lean into the waiting and not force things. Just let things be slow and let them unfold. It’s going to be what it’s going to be. You’re not going to get in the jail [to minister] any faster by worrying about it or trying to push at it.
So just accept this time. And what can you be doing in this time? What can you be learning and thinking?
And so overall, the way I see this time is, I call it the trifecta of trouble that we have: the pandemic, and then we’ve got the fires and then I call the turmoil in the nation the third part of this trifecta. So it’s pandemic, fires, and turmoil.
So it feels like one of those three I can handle. But all three at once at times just seems unbearable. But I think what has made it easier, is being here in nature.
I grew up in a small town in Waukesha, Wisconsin. So I’m from the Midwest and I miss the greenery after living in cities my whole adult life. And I felt like it was time to do this. So that’s been a real blessing, to be outside and just see the birds, the sky, the trees. Taking a forest bath. Just walking in the forest really slowly, bathing in the greenery. I average about an hour a day walking through the paths and down to the ocean and back. Jennifer [my wife] goes about three hours a day.
About the role of the church now and after the pandemic:
I was talking with an older priest who’s kind of a sage and he says, will the church have a role in rebuilding society after the pandemic?
That question really resonated with me: where’s the church in this discussion, we don’t hear a lot about the church and the values of Jesus. It’s like it’s really muted with that discussion.
If you think about it, really, this town started as a spiritual retreat center. And it’s like that’s in the bones of this church. It’s a spiritual center. And I’d love to see it become more of a spiritual center where people come here to pray, to be restored, to retreat, to, I’m just making this up right now.
But, we can get that labyrinth done down there. And, maybe those empty classrooms, maybe they become a little retreat center. And people are here. We just have no idea if that’s viable or not and I just made it up right now.