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The Village Smith 2/12

by Pat Smith on February 12, 2021

Confluence  

Confluence is a vivid and compelling word in my mind. The definition usually is expressed as “a coming or flowing together, meeting, or gathering at one point.” It’s a great word that I often associate with the meeting of two rivers like in downtown Pittsburg where the Allegheny River and Monongahela River unite to form the Ohio River. Confluences also are about people who come together, corporate mergers, uniting visions and people’s dreams that meld into one.  

If we take a moment to break the word confluence down to its origin, it is a Latin compound word, “con” meaning meet or together, and “fluere” meaning flow. As I write this column, I am tempted to re-title my piece today. If I did so, I would call it, “Non-confluence.” I’ve wrestled for some singular focus for this Village Smith for a few days. I just can’t find a sense of peace about which piece of current life could be that one thing. 

Here are the things that are on my mind: the impeachment trial; how our current national life will be shaped as time goes on; how local changes in pandemic restrictions will impact our Knox life (I’ll share more during our virtual annual meeting Sunday including news about in-person worship beginning very soon!); next steps that will lead Knox to further examination of who and what God is inviting us to be and do (I’ll share more on this, too, at our annual meeting!); continuing discernment about when the search for our next lead pastor will get underway (yes, more on this at Sunday’s meeting!). None of these jump out at me as the place I can land for this column. 

I leave you, then, knowing that all things do not come together easily or neatly, either big picture or small. We know this, right? Each of us has the capacity to carry many things on our hearts and minds and souls at any given time, and we do. With all that has our attention right now, today, I trust we will trust that God is right here in the midst of it all. I actually do trust in this. I hope you will, too. 

Standing with you as a fellow traveler in these days,

Pat

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