Entering the Season of Advent:

“We pray for plenty of good hard work to do, and the strength to do it.”  

This is a prayer that hangs within the dining hall on the grounds of White Oak Pastures outside of Bluffton, Georgia. The 1,250 acre farm is now owned and stewarded by Will Harris, who converted the farm’s conventional practice to an organic method. If there is anything more difficulty than farming, it just might be farming organically. And so the prayer that graces the room where all of the staff eat, is a prayer of grateful recognition (that this is a sacred pursuit – this good hard work) and a prayer of passion (that there is reward in this work – there is life in this work).

“We pray for plenty of good hard work to do, and the strength to do it.” 

I find myself returning to this prayer in this new season of ministry and in this season of Advent. For in listening to the friends and members of the congregation, priorities have emerged for the church: Congregational Care, Worship Participation, and a Children’s Program during Sunday Worship. Teams have been formed and come together to meet these priorities: Congregational Care (Marcia Muster), Worship Team (Cathy Ricks and Jon Moody), and Spiritual Formation, aka Christian Education (Nancy Schauer).

To begin and sustain these ministries will be hard work, but it is good hard work – the kind of work that nurtures the soul and leaves the body with a blessed exhaustion that craves Sabbath.

And it is good hard work that blesses others – the homebound and sick, the worshiping community, the children.

I share this as information and as an invitation. Perhaps you are searching for good hard work and will hear a calling into the Congregational Care, Worship, or Spiritual Formation team. Or perhaps you will hear an invitation to serve in another team. Or perhaps this is to recognize the goodness of the hard work that is before you.

And I share this for edification – for strength – recognizing that so many of you are engaged in good hard work. May this Church, this prayer, and the God we serve be a source of strength to do the good hard work your soul longs for; the ministry to which you are called.

Grace, Good Work, and Strength,

Rev. Chris McCreight