Robin Sharma, a Canadian writer and speaker, said, “Change is hard at the first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.” This congregation has been in the midst of change since Jay Lane and Harold Babcock announced their retirement, and I know there are many times when it has been hard.
Now we’re smack in the middle of it. Transition in ministry inevitably means other transition, which is how it must be in order to arrive at that gorgeous place at the end. Although we have had some transition in staff, a few changes in worship, and a period of figuring out the new normal, this congregation continues to move forward. We have lots of good news.
I am going to mention just some of it. Our new Director of Finance and Administration Kristen Fehlhaber is settling in well. She provides a kind as well as highly capable presence for the staff already, and as the congregation works with her, she will be that for you as well. We have held a Next Steps weekend, a bold move during an interim period, and several highly dedicated volunteers are preparing to launch our special campaign to set the congregation on the best path for the future. The Ministerial Search Committee is working faithfully toward presenting a great ministerial candidate to you in the spring.
We are paying attention to the wider world as well. Young Church has had a period of anti-racism work, and in adult church, we are gathering a racial justice task force. Meanwhile we continue climate justice work, Wed forums, and out many service efforts in the wider community.
We can never forget to care for one another and support each other’s spiritual journeys beyond Sunday morning. Chalice Circles provide ongoing spiritual sustenance even as Florence Mercer, other Parish Friends, and I seek to answer as many pastoral needs of congregational members as possible. Please let me know if you would like a call or a visit, including a local hospital visit. With the short- term hospitalizations of today and the privacy laws, plus the dogged self- reliance of New Englanders, I usually don’t even hear people have been hospitalized until too late to visit. The point isn’t checking off a hospital visit, however; it’s connecting to you and finding out how you are doing.
Before you know it, spring will be here, along with the gorgeous conclusion of the transition. In the meantime, let us look forward to sharing candlelight, music, and a bit of joy during the winter holiday season, as well as anticipating all the exciting events to follow
For now, with Thanksgiving at hand, I am grateful to be your companion on this journey of transition.
Rev. Susan Milnor