Duuring the sermon this morning at church, our good friend Joel articulated each point of transition our church is already enduring or preparing to experience in the coming months: 1) The senior Pastor, Jim resigned two years ago, 2) a volunteer pastor of several years, Bert, resigned a few months ago, 3) Our interim lead pastor, Katherine, was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago and is currently undergoing surgery recovery and pending treatments, 4) Our children's pastor, Kristina, announced that she and her husband are leaving this summer for a move back to the midwest, and 5) Our associate pastor, Jennifer, is leaving in April.
What in the world? Our congregation is a few hundred members so it will be interesting to see in the coming months how we begin to handle the changes. I am curious to see what the church will look like on the other side of this. What does God have in mind for this sundry mix of disciples?
As I see this unfolding from the pew as an attender, and as I speak more personally with Katherine and Jennifer. I am continually amazed at how God is using the oddest moments to continue nudging me forward in the direction of vocational parish work. I find this season of ecclesial change exhilerating and intriguing, certainly not stressful or overwhelming. There is so much opportunity for vision casting, for finding new ways to bless the world with fresh voices and new insights, and for ministering to one another in unique ways as we all worship through this migration to a new place together--as one big flock of wandering sheep in need of shepherd. When will it be my turn to shepherd? Not yet, God says. Oh, but when?...and where?