I look forward to getting back together as a faith community on Homecoming Sunday, September 7. We will kick off the new program year with a joint worship with our brothers and sisters at New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church, and a special church picnic after the 10 a.m. service. I also look forward to the fall, where there will be many opportunities for our church family to be present to one another, hear each other’s stories, and discover each other’s gifts and passions for life and ministry. This year, we will put a particular emphasis on building relationships with one another across the generations. As we worship together, we will see paths of promise and hope as we embrace the theme, “A Way Out of No Way.”
This sort of presence to one another and community-building will be important as we undergo some new transitions. After 18 years of faithful ministry, Rev. Adrianne Carr is retiring. Adrianne has been a part of our lives for many years. Her gentle spirit, kindness, wise counsel, and infectious sense of humor has deeply touched us. She has seen this church through some challenging times with aplomb and grace, and she has demonstrated the courage to step up to the plate, whether that was performing the first civil unions with Bob Lee, or standing on principle to help us navigate through the controversies around the Palestine/Israel issue. She has been with us through many of our own personal transitions including births, baptisms, hospitalizations, marriages, and death. Personally, I have deeply appreciated having Adrianne as a colleague in ministry as I have worked to settle in to a new church. This month will offer us space and time to reflect together and say proper goodbyes. In addition to her party on September 27th and closing worship service on September 28th, I look forward to having Adrianne as our guest at our First Church Forum on September 21st, where she will share reflections on life and our ministry together. I invite people of all ages to attend.
Some might ask, “What is the plan going forward?” To start, a search committee has been formed to hire an interim associate minister to preach, offer pastoral care and program support. A profile has been prepared by the committee and approved by the Executive Committee for circulation. At present, we are discerning how fast we may wish to form a committee for the settled position and will have more to discuss with the church in the coming weeks. All along the way, I encourage all of us to build a sense of community and be attentive to those who may find change or transition particularly challenging.
Change can be a little unsettling, even for those of us who like new adventures. But throughout this transition, I trust in a God who I know has shaped a great future for us and invites us to look to that future with strength and hope.
May the peace of Christ be with you!