I started this series on “what keeps us grounded as we move through change” in the midst of the last “fiscal cliff” crisis as anxiety was running high and uncertainty appeared interminable – for all of us. But this wasn’t the only inspiration. We were also in the early months of what would become a year of changes in our congregation.
With the announcement of Marc and Vicki’s pending retirement after 23 years in the congregation, as well as the question set before the congregation about my call to associate, as one of our Board members joked once, the year was likely to feel like a rodeo, and we just needed to hang on.
So here we are, in the middle of this year, and some of these changes are being felt. The house parties and conversations around my call have been an interesting process to witness. Most often when a congregation is deciding whether to call you or not, you aren’t in the congregation. Some of you have asked me how I’ve felt about the whole process. Honestly, I’ve felt good – I think we’re doing a pretty good job of “hanging on.” I am grateful for the congregation’s thoughtfulness and care. I trust the congregation will come to the right decision for the future of this church and its ministry.
In fact through all of these transitions, I have kept as my guiding principle “trust the congregation.” I have experienced this congregation as wise, intuitive, and thoughtful; there is no reason to imagine that this would suddenly change. It is so important that we act out of trust and faith rather than fear or doubt. We will inevitably run into things that are complicated and where emotions get a little intense, but through transparency and trust – and giving each other that important gift of the benefit of the doubt, we can work through these things together. This is the value of the partnership that is our shared ministry.
One of my favorite sayings I’ve run across lately goes: “Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.” Isn’t this a great Universalist faith statement? In the fullness of time, we’ll all be ok. Love wins. We don’t know where these next few years – or even months – will take us. But we can trust each other, and we can trust in our shared affirmation that everything and everyone will be ok. Truth keeps on unfolding. A new day is always dawning, and it is a gift, awaiting our response. May it be so.