Sunday, November 5, 2017


I am celebrating this afternoon, because I have been uninvited.

Allow me to clarify. The event at which I am not welcome is the second get together of The Vine, Christ’s Lutheran’s new ministry for young adults (ages 18-30). Last summer I began talking with Mallory Jacoby (a veteran of many mission trips, service projects, Confirmation class, etc. etc.) about the possibility of offering something for her age group. Mal has taken that idea and really run with it, coming up with a name, a logo, and programming too. I have high hopes that The Vine will grow (get it?) and that the attendees will find a warm and friendly welcome in our church community.

The Vine’s first event was a free yoga class a few weeks ago. I did know enough to resist suiting up and bringing my own yoga mat down, but I was there nonetheless. I sat in the kitchen with my book, as the young yogis and yoginis did their downward dogs and their warrior twos in Parish Hall. My contribution to the evening was making homemade granola bars for one of the refreshments. Mallory did a fine job as host, and certainly didn’t need me to be there. So when event #2 was planned, Mal very politely said she thought they’d be fine on their own.

The Vine’s Coffee Break gathering at a local Starbucks is happening as I write this. I had offered to come up with discussion questions, but no! Mallory had that covered too. It is kind of an odd feeling to not be a part of this outreach, but I certainly can get used to it. These are adults! They can handle their own get-togethers!

This is such a healthy development for our church—and for me, personally. For 15 years I have led countless groups, from preschool playgroup to high school youth group to adult Bible study and women’s circles. While at times I have groused about the extra work, deep down I came to feel very much needed for just about everything. Where would this church be without me? I thought, embarrassingly often. I micromanaged and never took my hands off the steering wheel. I just didn’t trust that things could run without my presence.

What I am learning at last, is that other people are as capable as I am, if not infinitely more so. I do not need to be the presenter ALL the time—in fact, I’m positive people at church are sick and tired of seeing me everywhere, at everything. Mallory—and several other wonderful people who have stepped up to take ownership of various events and programs—are doing a better job than I could, and it’s high time I recognized that.

And so, as the Coffee Break event unfolds, I am here at home, cheerfully uninvited. And I hope to be uninvited many more times in the months to come. Mallory and her young adult friends have got this. Long live The Vine!

See me here this afternoon? No you do not!

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