A Blessing from Thomas.
Those of you familiar with Nadia Bolz-Weber’s podcast ‘The Confessional’ know she ends each episode with a blessing for the person who’s stepped into the confessional to share their story of transformation and redemption with her (and us). While this isn’t about to turn into her segment ‘shit I’m not proud of’, I am going to offer Trinity Commons and the students who make up this wonderful space a blessing of my own.
May you continue to be a community which allows you to be your authentic self without pretending or faking it just to please someone else. May you continue to embrace the questions you have and let your uncertainty about the institutional church and religion not hinder you from letting those questions and misgivings out for all to hear. I hope you all can remember that moment when you first walked into the chapel with me or into the student center, and you weren’t quite sure what was going to happen; and then remember how we laughed and you realized this wasn’t going to be as difficult as you thought.
May you continue to share, whatever is on your mind and find a non-judgmental ear who won’t freak out at whatever you have to say. May you remember those pasta nights when we found what real community means when you’re on a new version of team salad, or hear someone answer your question with the phrase “well, what does the recipe say.” And may you not be restricted by any recipe but willing to experiment and try adding something you think will bring joy to everyone. Let yourself tolerate having a group picture so others can see what you do and how much fun we really have.
May you look for opportunities to be together, willing to tolerate each other in moments when you want to roll your eyes when someone asks one of those Sunday night ‘what if’ questions. May you seek each other and add more chairs to the table on campus when someone shows up, no matter how long or how often they continue to show up. May you sing with confidence and be willing to laugh when the music of life brings the laughter out of you. Church, worship, is meant to be joyful and I hope you create joy together in a space designed for you to remember that joy is possible.
And most of all, may you find a home and a place to stay. At its best, the church is a place we can return to when we’re tired or frustrated or empty to find a place to belong which lets us cuss out loud and say we’re tired or frustrated or empty. That doesn’t just happen because of one chaplain or clergy person; you help create that during the day, in the evening, and in whatever (and I still don’t want to know) happens at ‘Trinity After Dark.’ Don’t let perfection keep you away, and look for those students who haven’t found that home and invite them. And finally, be willing to give what you have, which is your vulnerable self and willingness to show up, whether in the way early morning of marathon Sunday, a Thursday afternoon discussion, or in a restaurant around town after a get-together. Trinity Commons is what you make it and, I feel sure, you will continue to make it with God’s help.
- On Monday, July 27, at 5 p.m., there will be a small gathering at Trinity Commons to say farewell to Thomas. Weather permitting, we will be outside. Masks are required.
- We will not meet on Tuesday via Zoom.
- Join us for worship on Sunday, August 2, at 6 pm on Zoom (https://bit.ly/TCZoom)