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How have you made momentous decisions in your life? Lists weighing pros and cons? SWOT analyses? Opening up the Bible and picking a passage randomly? Decisions about whether to have a child, questions of moving, responding to health situation requiring a choice of treatment or none, getting married, getting divorced—our lives are a series of choices which shape our present and futures.

It is amazing to see how often in the Bible throwing dice or picking straws (drawing lots) are how God’s will is discerned at a given time. Indeed, in the book of Exodus, Aaron is instructed to wear the Urim and Thummim, the holy dice in his priestly ephod/garment (Exodus 28). Traditionally the words ‘ urim’ and ‘thummin’ have been translated as “lights and perfections” or, by taking the phrase allegorically, as meaning “revelation and truth”, Folks would come to the priest to determine God’s will and the priest would throw the urim and thummin to reach an answer. In the New Testament, a similar practice occurred when the apostles had to decide a replacement for Judas; according to Acts 1 the disciples prayed together and two names were put forth, Justus and Matthias. Straws were drawn. The will of God was determined to be Matthias.

Biblical decision making seems to have involved prayer, inquiry, consultation and whimsy. The results were a commitment to a direction, with confidence that God’s will would be revealed in light of the choice.

Like the friends of Jesus in Acts 1, the Vestry of St. Stephen’s and the Board of Trustees of St. Stephen’s School met last Saturday to discern whether or not to release the request for proposal for a developer of our land on the south side of Sul Ross. After years of prayer, cost analyses, market research, town hall meetings, fundraising and deliberation, the boards have decided to be open to the possibility of partnering with a developer to meet our financial, environmental, and social sustainability goals. The Request for Proposal will be issued on Tuesday. Releasing this request does not commit the church and school to work with a development partner. It does open us to new opportunities.

Regardless of the outcome of this development process, our leaders are committed to be a community witnessing to revelation and truth in our Montrose neighborhood. We trust in prayer, collaboration and divine whimsy.

The Reverend Lisa Hunt, Rector