With every obstacle or challenge placed before me; with every difficult pastoral conversation in the face of life’s struggles; with every grievance and annoyance doled out by coworkers or parishioners; with every doubt and fear of mine that one more person will leave our parish or faith; with all of this in mind, circling my thoughts day in and out, there remains but one: Christ. And in and through Christ is hope, faith and love. Hope that no matter the challenge, struggle, grievance or fear, this beautiful church that has survived for 2,000 years will continue to do so. Faith that God will carry me through all my days. Love that endures through all my relationships, most of all with God.
Parish life is hard. Church ministry is harder. Family life and church ministry — there is no true balance. But there is balance in seeing good in the small things — hugs and smiles from my children, affirming words from my husband, a thank-you note from a parishioner, a calming moment spent with God. These small, yet momentous moments are the foundation that gives me strength to persevere despite the cultural milieu of apathy, consumerism, busyness and pressure to be something other than who God made me to be. Today I choose to be grounded in a spirituality of creation’s beauty, of knowing that God made me in God’s image, and therefore I am good and worthy. Today I choose to act out of Christian charity to my family and all those I encounter. Today I am blessed to be a disciple of Jesus. Today I am blessed to be a lay minister who witnesses my faith journey to others, and helps to teach and guide them to become disciples. Let hope, faith and love become your foundation, too.
Schott is the director of faith formation at St. Kateri Parish in Irondequoit.
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