A Pastoral Word
“Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.”
I came across this quote the other day and it stayed with me. Partly because it reminds me that there are different ways to deal with change. Partly because it reminds me that I don’t like change but I have come to accept that change is a part of life. Partly because it fits our situation as a church.
As you may know by now, Amanda has decided to resign from her position as Student Associate Minster and her last day will be Sunday August 17th. I know that we have all been glad that Amanda has been a part of our church. Her prayers, communion meditations and sermons have been thought-provoking and spirit-filled. We will miss her but we also know that this is part of our ministry as a teaching church. We are privileged to be a part of a student’s ministry for a while, to help them grow in their ministry, and to be a part of their faith story. We send Amanda off with our blessings and will continue to be thankful to be a part of her ministry formation.
Many of you have asked what does this mean for the church and our current situation. What is going to happen now? What is going to happen after December? What is going to happen when I go on maternity leave?
Once again, I am thankful to have such amazing leadership in this church to help answer some of these questions. Since we had already discussed the possibility of hiring additional student associate in the fall, we are in a sense ahead of the game. I had already talked to Steve Monhollen, the Field Education Director at LTS about our possible situation. Steve has already done some ground work for our church and has a list of names ready for us. Sue Roberts has agreed to chair the search committee for the next Student Associate. And Phil, Sue, and I will be putting together a committee so that we can start this process of hiring a new student associate fairly soon. Our goal and our hope is that we will have a new student associate by the beginning of September.
At our elders’ meeting in July, the elders and I discussed possible plans while I am on maternity leave for church leadership and support. One of the possible plans is that each of the elders would take a week and be “on call”. If there was an emergency, concern, etc, then the “on call” elder would be contacted to deal with the situation if needed.
Also more than likely, we would have supply preachers during the time that I am on maternity leave which might be an interesting change of pace. One of the best things about guest preachers is that they bring a “new” voice. I always find it fascinating to talk to my colleagues and hear about the many different ways we interpret a text and preach a sermon.
One of the life lessons that I have learned when dealing with change is that it is best to take it one day at a time. Which I admit is hard for me because I am a planner! But the thing that I try to remember is that we are all in this together and that God is guiding us on our journeys, walking beside us, supporting us and leading us.