Dearest Friends and Family of First,
As we have renegotiated my call and have removed the option that I can be considered a candidate for the called and installed pastor, I realize that my heart-breaks for I do love you. You can often hear Tammy or me shout, “I LOVE MY JOB!” Some of that is to remind us that even in the tense and frustrating times, “God is good all the time!” And “All the time, God is good!” God is working here and now.
I need to clarify for everyone, I will not apply for the called and installed position that the PNC is working so hard to fill. My job, as your interim is to help: 1) Identify our Heritage; 2) Focus our Mission; 3) Make Connections; 4) Organize for Effective Leadership; and 5) Prepare us to say goodbye to me and welcome in the New Called and Installed Pastor.
The last step, preparing to say “goodbye” often is a hard one, and in fact is not one that I am very good at because saying “goodbye” unsettles us, rocks our boat, and forces change.
I found this quote from Pema Chödrön which certainly calms me, settles me and helps me face this rocky time, this interim time, I have with you.
“When things fall apart and we can’t get the pieces back together, when we lose something dear to us, when the whole thing is just not working and we don’t know what to do, this is the time when the natural warmth of tenderness, the warmth of empathy and kindness, are just waiting to be uncovered, just waiting to be embraced. This is our chance to come out of our self-protecting bubble and to realize that we are never alone. This is our chance to finally understand that wherever we go, everyone we meet is essentially just like us. Our own suffering, if we turn toward it, can open us to a loving relationship with the world.” -Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
Let’s continue to sort out our calling, our place. Share your joys, concerns, frustrations, questions. In January, I will be hosting conversations right after church and at other times, so we can continue to build open, loving relationships that run deep.
I am honored and privileged to be your Interim Pastor and I pray for the success of the PNC.