As I write this piece, we are finally getting some snow. It’s still not much, but it is looking more like winter than it has for most of the month of January. Of course, we’re still in the midst of winter and there’s much more to go before we can look for the buds of spring. The interesting thing about winter is that even when we don’t see much going on in the natural world around us, the trees and plants are still at work preparing for the warmth that is to come. It’s the same with the church. It is a season of change. The rush and preparations of Advent and Christmas may be behind us, but there is still much work being done to prepare for the seasons to come. The Search Committee is continuing its work to find your next settled minister, Missions is still about the work of helping those organizations that make a difference in our world, and church leadership is still hard at work to ensure that the church is on good footing into the future.
It probably goes without saying, but here goes anyway – the church cannot do any of this without you. Every aspect of what this church does to make a difference in our world depends on the efforts of each one of you. And what you do is appreciated, even if you don’t hear the words “thank you” often enough. So, let me extend a heartfelt “thank you!” to each of you for the work you’ve been doing to sustain the ministry of the church and to ensure that this ministry continues into the future. I have witnessed the work you’ve been doing, and I am awed by it.
It’s also time for me to begin my process of leave taking. Even as we still have about two months together, most of my time with you is now behind us. Together, we have navigated the return to in-person worship through Covid surges and troughs. Fortunately, we have had more troughs than surges, and I am grateful for that. It’s also been a time of change in the church as the congregation voted to sell the parsonage that had been part of the church for many years.
We have experienced much together, and in the process, we have learned from each other. In the next two months, I’m sure we will continue to learn more from each other as we prepare for this next step in our mutual and separate journeys. May the God of grace and love hold us dearly as we move forward in this journey – this season of change.