“The bacon special, chunky hash browns, scrambled eggs, no toast.”

“I’ll have the same thing as her, but add the wheat toast to mine.”

“I’ll have the bacon special too, but grits in a bowl instead of hash browns. And a small orange juice.”

“Egg whites scrambled on dry wheat toast (enough to fill the toast!), and yellow mustard on the side.”

If you’d happen to wander into the Cagney’s in Ardmore at 7:30am on the Wednesday before a Sunday deacon’s meeting, this is what you’d hear emerging from the table by the window under the corner TV! For this is where your deacon officers and I gather each month to pray for our church, to plan the meeting’s agenda, to imagine together about how God is inviting us into our bold and boundless future, to share the heavy loads we’ve all walked this year, to tell stories of morning meltdowns with kids or aging parents or travel or work. It has been holy ground indeed. And as you might can tell, we know each other’s breakfast order by heart now! 

Kelly started this tradition some years ago. Randy picked up the baton next, followed by Leslie this year and Gary next. And somewhere along the way, we’ve used our December breakfast to invite along the incoming officers to meet with the outgoing officers, sharing together in this sacred threshold between what has been and what will be. 

Between the blackberry jelly and the bottomless coffee refills, we looked back at what has been this past year in the life of our church — a transformative building project, new ministers and members, an Innovation for Ministry Fund and new ideas emerging each day, opportunities to give and serve, times to connect with each other, with our community, and with the God who binds us together. We gave thanks for what is in this season, delighting in our first Sunday worship this week with a gathered community at Brookridge and remembering the deep gladness of space for contemplation in our Sanctuary. And we imagined together what is coming soon, places where God is breaking in and inviting us ever more fully into who we might become together, moments that will ask for new muscles to be exercised, new imagination to be sparked, new creativity about our care for one another. 

This liminal space between what has been and what will be echoes throughout each year-end in our collective conversation — looking back and planning ahead, taking stock and resolving again, grieving and hoping. This liminal space — a threshold, an in-between — sounds to me like Advent too. For through the doorway of this season, we sense the mystery that tears apart the heavens and comes down to earth. Through the doorway of the world as it is, we can imagine the world as it might be. Through the doorway of despair, hope; of war, peace; of cynicism, joy; of disengagement, love; of darkness, light. 

For even in Advent’s waiting, the aching expectation, the shadows, we reach for the day when God  comes close, when new life changes everything, when Love leans in and shares life and breaks bread (and breakfast!) along the way. 

Together in God’s work of Love,
Pastor Emily

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