...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My Hero: Marvin Cropsey

Marvin Cropsey's title doesn't really fit on his business card anymore. Marvin, has been in ministry many years with the United Methodist Publishing House and is an amazing servant of the church. Currently, Marvin is General Editor over all our denomination's Quadrennial Resources (a fancy name the many, many volumes General Conference generates), plus other things like the Mature Years, etc, etc., etc. I recently saw him at our General Conference last week in Ft. Worth; we had a chance to renew our 30 year association dating back to when he was with Cokesbury in Ohio in the late 70's.

In the midst of General Conference, he was easily one of the busiest persons there. The Daily Christian Advocate, one of his responsibilities, covers every word of General Conference. The DCA had a large suite of makeshift offices where the large staff was working for two weeks. Marvin arrived very early each day; he retired each evening in the early morning hours. He was also the one of the first to arrive and the last to leave the city.

Most folks think his job is not fun, but Marvin disagrees. In fact, Marvin's energy remains constant. His stamina is due, in part, to the fact that he loves General Conference and his part in it. Passion really overcomes so much! After reflecting on all this, I wonder if it is not the better part of wisdom to return to our first love, our passion. It is easy to lag behind energy-wise when we forget why we do what we do- and what we loved about it all initially.

I have a sense that the famous do-gooder Ephesians of Rev. 2, the first of John's Seven Churches, would understand about losing the love and passion we once had. Maybe this had to do with "christian" phonies and they got tired of them. I do think it is consequential, not really punitive in Revelation. As love continues to grow cold, the lampstand will be taken away; just as the light we offer to the world will dim and go out when we forget our first love.

Marvin says everyone marvels at the joy and dedication he has for his work, his ministry. Indeed, his energy seemed boundless last week. In this week of recovery,I thank Marvin for reminding me of what it looks like to give from the full cup. And to be used by the Holy Spirit. We all need to see that for ourselves (rather than envy it in others) and to do it.

You fill my cup until it overflows. Psalm 23:5

1 comment:

  1. I have known Marvin since before Kindergarten. He is one of my life long friends! We had every class together through high school. We studied,laughed, grew up, and went our separate ways. But our "tie that binds" will never be broken.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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