I was having coffee with a friend a few weeks ago. In the middle of the conversation, what seemed to me from out of nowhere, she shouted, “I don’t have enough time to get everything done that people expect me to do!”
Tears started rolling down her cheeks. I dug into my purse for a tissue. After the tears were wiped and breathing back to normal I asked, “Where did that come from? What has pushed you over the edge?”
“Nothing specific,” came the reply. “I just feel like I am not enough and I don’t have enough time for family and work. I’m drowning in things to do.”
My friend is like so many of us. She wants to do her job well. She wants to be a great mother and good friend. She stays up late answering emails, finishing laundry or any number of chores that are not done and doesn’t get enough sleep, and she doesn’t have the energy to give to other tasks that greet her in the morning.
I recently read a new book by Dr. Brene’ Brown titled Daring Greatly. In the book she addresses our culture of “never being/having enough.” She says we wake up in the morning with the not enough mantra: “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The day goes downhill from there.
Brown has a lot more to say about “not enough” in her book. But the thing that hit me in the face was her statement that abundance is not the opposite of scarcity. Enough is the opposite of scarcity. To make abundance the opposite is to move from one extreme – scarcity, to another extreme – abundance. Can we be content with enough?
Jesus talked about this in the Gospel when he said if we have two coats, give one away. One coat is enough. Giving my extra coat away is much easier than giving up my ideas about myself. “It isn’t enough for me to be ordinary. I have to be exceptional.” Churches suffer from “not enough” as well. Not enough money. Not enough people. You can add your personal favorites to this list.
Rejuvenate Ministry offers opportunities for congregations and clergy to address those places where “not enough” invades their ministry. Opportunities for laity and clergy to learn about practicing generosity in our congregations and in our personal lives are offered throughout the year. These educational events provide opportunities for lay persons and clergy to learn about resources that already exist in congregations and through the annual conference to address financial literacy and ways to become more extravagantly generous in our congregations and in our personal lives. Small changes can bring transformation.
Rejuvenate helps pastors who are being called into new vocational paths. Grants from Rejuvenate can help them make this transition. Many of our clergy have been helped with emergency grants when financial needs arise. Most of our grants have been given to help clergy with educational loans.
Rejuvenate is helping congregations address stewardship issues through the Extravagant Generosity Workshops. Financial literacy programs are subsidized for clusters who want to help individuals grow in their ability to manage personal finances.
Rejuvenate is funded by a generous $3 million gift from The Lilly Endowment. When we, as the Indiana Conference accepted this gift, we agreed to raise $3 million to match Lilly Endowment’s gift. The Rejuvenate capital campaign committee, co-chaired by Bishop Coyner and Dan Evans, has raised $1 million toward this goal.
A conference-wide offering will be received April 14 for Rejuvenate. Pastors and congregational leaders will be receiving material about the offering in early March. A DVD and worship planning materials will be sent to each church and pastor. Please join us in this ministry. Your church and pastor can register for one of the Extravagant Generosity workshops online at rejuvenateindiana.org.
Wendell Berry has been one of my favorite poets, essayists, and prophet for many years. I have kept one of his poems in my journal and read it frequently. In his poem “What We Need Is Here,” he concludes with the words, “we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye, clear. What we need is here.”
Please join in this ministry that we pray will strengthen leaders, congregations and communities. We are enough.
For more information about Rejuvenate Ministry, visit rejuvenateindiana.org or call Mary Ann at 317-788-7879. Rejuvenate also is available on Facebook at rejuvenateindiana.
We are enough.