By: Rev. Carolyn Dugan, Associate Regional Minister of Outdoor Ministries

Tzimtzum in Hebrew was defined by the 15th Century mystic Isaac Luria in his doctrine that God began the process of creation by “contracting” his Ohr Ein Sof (infinite light) in order to allow for a “conceptual space” in which finite and seemingly independent realms could exist. The idea that something new could be born in this space.

As I was preparing for Holy Week, I came across a message from Pastor Kelly Jane where she suggests that when Jesus knelt to wash the disciple’s feet he was “tzimtzum’- ing. Jesus knew he wouldn’t be with them much longer and He was making space for them to grow into their roles and what was coming next.

Our theme this summer at Camp Tamarack is Empower as we look at next generation ministries using Psalm 78:72 (ESV) “With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand”. We will be exploring how we empower, how we guide, how we encourage all our generations in what comes next. That may mean there are times when current leaders need to make space to try new things, to allow new things to be born and to let go of ideas that may no longer be working or serving their purpose.

As I continue to reflect on this idea of tzimtzum, I am also looking at my own life. As we continue to come out of pandemic life, I tried to be intentional about what I let back into my life. Where I spent my energy. Unfortunately, I didn’t do a very good job of gatekeeping and it feels like I am busier now than I ever have been. If I don’t take a moment to create space, then nothing new will grow and I will continue to feel bogged down and stuck.

My prayer for this summer and my prayer for you is this:

Creator God, we come to you looking for guidance as we make space for new things to grow and expand. We ask for your support to help us let go of what we are holding tightly. To empower and encourage emerging leaders and ministries that you are preparing in the hearts of your people. Help us to tzimtzum. Amen.

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