We track time differently in the church.

To start, we use a different calendar than the world around us. Our church year begins with the First Sunday of Advent when the world around us restarts every January 1. 

We keep a different set of holidays, or holy-days. Sometimes these holidays or seasons overlap with the world around us—if not culturally than at least meteorologically with the natural rhythms of the earth as it changes.

But we also keep time in other ways that can’t be measured with a clock or a calendar.

The ancients knew this clock/calendar time as chronos. Chronos time is easily measurable, consistent, and reliable. It’s important and what allows society to function on a basic level.  

But it’s not the only time there is.

The ancients had another word to describe a different kind of time. A kind of time that’s not easily measured and predictable like chronos time, but is more deeply felt.

Kairos, they called it. Kairos time is what we might think of as spiritual time; God’s time. Kairos is blessed time, sanctified time, time in which God’s presence and purposes are revealed and experienced. 

In chronos time, JD Granade has served as our Associate Pastor for Children and Congregational Life for exactly three years this Sunday. Not a small amount of time, though for a church that has been fortunate enough to have many long-tenured ministries, it may feel like it.

Until we remember the kairos of it all.

JD had only been with us a handful of months when the world shut down from an international pandemic. He was still unpacking boxes, setting up his office, getting to know a new community and all the families at the church when we were suddenly forced into our homes.

Suddenly all the challenges of moving to a new place and starting a new ministry were amplified exponentially.

Yet, as I look back, it feels like JD came to us just in time. His unique gifts of creativity, grace, and a deep love for people and especially the children of our church were true gifts for us through such a difficult season.

Children’s ministry during a pandemic was, to say the very least, a challenge. And yet as we look around to see our children’s ministry as large and as vibrant as it’s been in recent memory, I can think of no greater witness to the blessing that JD has been to us, and the good work and ministry he has done among us.

It’s no secret our bunch of children here at the church are “high energy.” Which is what makes it such a marvel to see JD capture their attention—and without even raising his voice. It’s a relationship rooted in trust and care and deep love; all measures of kairos for which children have an innate sense.

On staff, JD’s presence through this past season has been invaluable. As we all have needed to adjust and take on different roles and responsibilities, JD’s flexibility and willingness to do what has needed to be done to carry on with our mission and ministry have been true gifts.

Being mindful of the kairos of it all also helps us know how to say goodbye. As we give thanks to God for JD’s time among us, we also send him forth carrying our blessing, trusting that the same God who brought him to us three years ago will remain with him in the season ahead.


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