Friday, February 6, 2015

Pastor's Letter - February 6, 2015

Dear Friends,
For the past 3 weeks I have been wearing the same 7 pieces of clothing – not at the same time; and yes, they have been laundered frequently.   I am engaged in a clothing “fast,” where I have limited my clothing choices to 7 items – 2 pairs of pants, 2 sweaters, 1 dress, and  2 tops.  I am allowing myself a coat, a scarf, and two different pairs of shoes, as well as my wedding band, a watch, and 1 pair of earrings (oh, yes, and underwear) .    I am doing this because of an increasing uneasiness over how much excess I have and I was prompted to this examination after I read the book, “Seven, an experimental mutiny against excess, “  by Jen Hatmaker.  This is the book that we will use for a Lenten book discussion, as we will gather at Panera’s.    No, I am not doing this on my own, but with a clergy friend. 
What have I learned so far?  With fewer options, I spend less time deciding what I will wear. With 7 options, I have to be vigilant about doing laundry (no going 2 weeks).  I realize how many pieces of clothing I haven’t worn in years (some due to weight loss/gain);   and how much I impulse buy - that top on sale?  Sold!, and then it sits in the closet.   I also realize that though I have pared down, there is more I can give away and perhaps help someone else.    
The understanding behind a fast is that as we forego something, we create space to experience an increased awareness of God.  It allows us to shift our priorities from our preoccupation with our “stuff,” in order to focus more on our life with God.   As we let go of “things,” we are hopefully taking steps toward Christ-like simplicity.
So I ask for your prayers as I continue on this journey of “fasting.”   This clothing “fast” will continue for another week and then at the start of Lent, I will begin a fast where I will limit my food items to “seven.”  I am in discernment about what this will look like. 
I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday.  Please continue to pray for the mission of Buckhall UMC:  to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
Yours in Christ,