Every year in October our pastoral team heads out to the beautiful Oregon coast for a retreat. My coworker, Denise, and I get to go too because we’ve somehow convinced the pastors that the team wouldn’t be complete without us. Okay, so that “convinced” part isn’t true; Quakers are especially good at not making “pastor” and “lay” distinctions. We are all called to be ministers, and some are released to do pastoral work with the support of the church.
We did some work but also relaxed and played. Denise and I used our afternoon freedom to partake in our favorite activity—thrift-store shopping. One element was not part of our retreat—hunger. It seemed we were just waddling away from the table from one meal and it was time for the next meal. All of our meals were lovingly planned, prepared, and served by Susan and Gary Fawver.
I saw God in the unpretentious way these friends went about their work. Since I know them personally, I’m aware of the lifetime of accomplishments they could flaunt. But they served us with humility and obvious joy.