Today was the first full day of committee work, which gave me the opportunity to work on connections, gather information about resources, and strenghten our Presbyteries' ties to the larger church. This is part of what I love about my work, and I have found these kinds of conversations to be rich and full of potential.
Time after time today, I found myself in situations that I actually hadn't planned for, in conversations that weren't on my calendar, in encounters that just happened because I said hello, or shook someone's hand, or simply made eye contact. Each and every one of these situations, conversations, and encounters quickly blossomed into possibility, into my heart jumping up and down in excitement and shouting, "Holy Spirit at work here! Pay attention!"
I saw a minister who had expressed emotion about being at GA without her father, whose funeral I had participated in two and a half years ago, so I stopped to give her a hug. She introduced me to the person she was in conversation with, who was actually planning to call me. This second minister's father, who is a pastor in Venezuela, is currently spending about six months a year in Boston with his other children, and his daughter wanted to know if there was a place for him to share his gifts in Boston Presbytery.
I saw another minister who had been a member in PNNE and is now serving a church in NJ. He's here as an overture advocate on an overture asking the PCUSA to do it's best to only contract for business with companies that have policies related to human trafficking and slavery. We went to the same lunch and learned about PCUSA resources related to stopping human trafficking, and I realized that the Synod of the Northeast is an important place to have an active network dealing with this issue, and the people I met today are ready to help move that forward.
I went to the World Mission area of the exhibit hall to pick up the cards for mission co-workers serving in countries that we have members from in both Presbyteries, and talked with the exhibit host about how blessed we have been with the influx of immigrants who went to Presbyterian schools and churches in their home countries. She gave me the card for the person who resources Presbyteries, and I just met her on the elevator at my hotel.
These are just three examples of something I have experienced countless times today, yesterday, and will experience again tomorrow. The Holy Spirit is so evident, sparking conversations, encounters, and situations that will serve to build up the churches and ministries of the Presbyteries of Boston and Northern New England. It is humbling, inspiring, (a little exhausting!), and downright amazing to see so clearly God's hand at work.
Yes, some people call these things coincidence, chance, serendipity. I know what's truly happening. By the grace of God, the love of Christ, and the wind of the Spirit, I see providence all around.