Thine the truly thine the yes thine the table we the guest thine the mercy all from thee thine the glory yet to be then the ringing and the singing then the end of all the war thine the living thine the loving evermore evermore.—ELW 826
I decided to start my article with a verse from one of Pastor Sarah’s favorite hymns. I like this verse because it invites us in to God’s reign. It invites us to the Lord’s table where we are always the guest. It reminds us of God’s continual mercy towards us. It promises a future without war where living and loving are held forevermore. We are entering into a new time. And, it’s important to acknowledge a few things as we move forward.
For many of you, Pastor Sarah was your first pastor who is a woman. For some of you, this created a connection that you had not experienced before. As Pastor Sarah moves to a new call you will miss what she brought to the pastoral office but you move forward greatly enriched by this experience. I know that some of you are experiencing grief. Pastor Tom and I have our own grief in this time as well. This is more than a staffing change, it will change the way that we work together, it will create a need for gifts and abilities to be lifted up from within the congregation, and it will take time and adjustment for all of us. The challenge for myself is to stay connected to my heart and not retreat to my head.
I also want to acknowledge that this is an important change of call for Pastor Sarah because it allows her the opportunity to use her voice in a more complete way. The congregation that she has been called to serve has been waiting for a pastor for a long time. They will have not only the challenges of a new call and learning about one another but because of this COVID time, everything is just more complicated. So we pray for Pastor Sarah and the congregation that she has been called to serve as they begin their ministry together.
As always, I ask that you pray for Pastor Tom and I in this transition. We are working hard to plan for a fall like none of us have experienced before. We are faced daily with decisions and tasks that no seminary class could ever train us for. We are committed in our service to this congregation who graciously called us and who wem thankfully minister alongside. Change is constant in our lives, let us acknowledge what we are feeling in this change and let us grow in the midst of it.