By: Kim Hearn
March 14, 2011
One of my favorite Biblical passages is the well known and oft quoted passage from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, “To everything there is a season…” As a young girl growing up in the seventies I used to turn the volume on the radio to full blast whenever the Byrds musical rendition of this classic passage would come over the airwaves. Driving along the roads in rural Sheboygan County, I would roll down the window of my parent’s car and sing the lyrics with the passion of a performer on stage. I sang I recall feeling empowered by the fact that life is not a series of disconnected, discrete events, but that there was order in the chaos. I did not have the language or the faith at the time to name that order as God; but I knew with certainty that I was part of a bigger story—a continuous story. And that knowledge gave me confidence and offered me comfort.
A lot of miles and many roads have been traveled since my carefree teenage years but the words from Ecclesiastes (whether in Scripture or song) still evoke within me the same feeling of confidence and comfort. I also know with certainty that the story I am a part of is God’s. Deep within I always knew I was called to a life of service. The question was service to what…to everything turn, turn, turn…the answer was not to what, but to whom. Today I have the humbling privilege of working with passionate and gifted young people who are exploring and responding to God’s calling in their lives. Young people that each year bring a new season to FTE and young people who move on to live lives in service to the church and the world. Young people committed to making order out of chaos in this place, in this time. To everything turn, turn, turn.
This past week I experienced an epiphany of sorts. I received the project proposals from the 2010 FTE Ministry Fellows. Twenty emerging leaders for the church who have spent the past ten months in a discernment process with their peers to create an individual ministry project that will strengthen their leadership capacity and deepen their own understanding of what it means for them to move from being called to being callers in service to the church. At the same time I received over 125 applications from passionate and gifted young people who are applying for the 2011 FTE Ministry Fellowship. From these applications twenty new leaders will emerge. Twenty new voices that will work together in community add their story to FTE’s, the church’s and the world’s story. In the days ahead FTE will welcome 110 new Fellows. In the days ahead the 2010 Fellows will move out into the church and the world dedicated to lives of service. There is both melancholy and anticipation that accompanies the changing of the seasons. This is true here at FTE as well, with one group of Fellows moving on and another coming in. But there is comfort in knowing that the story continues—to everything, turn, turn, turn. There is a season, turn, turn, turn. A time for every purpose under heaven.