When we were young, my grandfather was the chaplain at a retirement home and so there were many Sunday lunches shared in the cafeteria and many people whose rooms or tables we stopped by as the grandchildren of the chaplain. What I didn’t know at the time is those Sunday afternoons were part of my training as a minister.
Yesterday, I visited two different retirement communities to visit with some very dear people to our church. As I was walking in, I thought wow, I think making visits means I really am a pastor, but I also thought about how the environment wasn’t intimidating or uninviting because in many ways a retirement center was my grandparents’ home for many years. Instead, I felt comfortable and excited to check in on our people and to say that I was their pastor as I checked in.
And in the midst of getting turned around, I remembered my grandparents and how I wish during this time of the year that I was able to see them again. I wish that Thanksgiving would include my grandmother coming over to my mom’s house to tell us that the dressing didn’t have enough poultry seasoning or celery salt and reminding me to keep stirring.
Although I had to reorder my day when one visit took longer than I had expected, checking in on those who have paved the way for us as a church is a way of sharing fellowship and thanksgiving for the vision they had and the foundation they laid and in the same way as we are making my grandmother’s dressing, I will tell my girls to add more celery salt and to keep stirring remembering the foundation for ministry my grandparents laid for me by giving their lives to ministering and serving others.