Walking in Faith, Together

26 Jan Walking in Faith, Together

Dear Friends,

Thank you for an uplifting worship service on Sunday. Announcing three staff changes
is not a task any pastor relishes, but you received the news with equanimity and grace.
For that, I am deeply grateful. After church, several of our long-time members made
comments along the lines of, “we’ve been here before—many times.” One comment that
certainly resonated was, “so, anything been going on around here lately?!” Others were
reassuring in their trust that God is leading us and will provide the right people at the
right time so that our worship and the discipleship of our children will remain vibrant
and healthy.

All of these comments indicate that we have our hearts and our priorities in the right
place. Our faith is in God, not in any individual person. Our vision is for a church that
continues to live into its mission to be a source of life, light, and hope to our neighbors.
With our eyes firmly on God and our hearts open to one another and to our surrounding
community, we will emerge from this season of change with a clearer picture of where
God is leading us now and how to fulfill our calling as followers of Jesus.

Between here and there, however, let us endeavor to do two things: first, to be honest
about how difficult this much change is and second, to take time to celebrate the
amazing people who have journeyed with us, sharing their wealth of gifts with our faith
family. While there are a few people who thrive in the midst of change, most of us
struggle with it. We are saying “so long” to people we love and care about. We will miss
them in myriad ways. Their departures introduce uncertainty about what happens next
and that uncertainty can result in anxiety. It is not overstating it to say that grief is a
natural part of these transitions. It is important to acknowledge and make sacred space
to hold that grief for one another.

We feel a sense of grief because we have been blessed beyond measure by the
faithfulness, creativity, expertise, passion for God and God’s people, and joy that Judy,
Jenny, and Kate have showered upon us. We have been the weekly recipients of their
deep treasure trove of gifts. We have been nurtured and fed, inspired and equipped.
WOW! They have been exceptional colleagues in ministry and while I will miss
collaborating and brainstorming with them, just as with Hannah, Gene, Barbara, and
David, I am so thankful for the time we have shared that my gratitude overwhelms all
other emotions. I hope you will make a point of sharing your own thanks with each of
them over the coming weeks.

We will walk through these transitions one day, one step at a time. And because God is
calling to us and leading us, we need not be afraid. Rather, we walk in faith, trusting in
God’s love and care for us.

Yours for the Kingdom,

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