A Pastoral Word
It seems like only yesterday I was announcing to the congregation that Mike and I were expecting our first child and now here we are: zero hour! Where did the time go? Mike and I want to thank the church for the baby shower and for all the amazing gifts! Both of us were overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support from our church family!
And now everything is ready as we await the birth of our first child: Sarah Ann.
I wanted to take this opportunity to let everyone know that I will begin my maternity leave on Wednesday, December 24th and will be back in the office at the end of February. The Board generously voted to give me eight weeks of maternity leave for which I am truly thankful.
Just as motherhood and pregnancy is a new experience for me, this process has been a new experience for the congregation of Midway Christian Church. This is the first time in the history of Midway Christian Church that the questions about what do we need to do if the minister goes on maternity leave needed to be answered. My pastoral relations committee had to come up with a maternity policy and thanks to the leadership of Burnie Wall, it was passed at the November Board meeting.
While I am on maternity leave, the congregation will be in good hands. The pulpit will be filled with guest preachers, many who have at one point or another have been connected with Midway Christian Church and the elders have graciously offered to lead the congregation and to take care of the pastoral needs of the congregation. I am also thankful to have Jody with us during this time. My hope is that this becomes a learning opportunity for her and for her ministry.
The other interesting thing that will happen while I am on maternity leave is that in the November Board meeting, the board approved the new congregational structure and will begin to implement that for a six month trial basis, starting in January. The Visioning Team has worked really hard to come up with a structure that will free up the congregation to do ministry. This will be a great time for the congregation and its leadership to make the new structure work.
My hope is that this maternity leave will continue to challenge us as people of faith and a congregation that has embraced its mission of Welcome. My hope is that this maternity leave will continue to let us as a congregation take a look at our spiritual gifts and to use them wisely so that we can all live up to our Kingdom potential. My hope is that this maternity leave continues to be a growing experience for me and for the congregation of Midway Christian Church.