ANTICIPATION and AFFIRMATION – After over two and a half years Pastor Jessica and her family will be here in less than two weeks. Elsa and I have felt very welcomed by this community of faith. Our time with St. John’s members has been a positive experience for us. I hope as we have gone from Covid months and Zoom services to adaptation of the traditional service that all has gone well for you. Thank you for including us in your lives. Thank you for your gracious, happy, warm, hospitality. As I speak of how well you have received us I trust the same kindness, encouragement, warmth, energy and support will be shared with the Schmidt family. You have been working so hard to prepare for the family from “South Africa”. May the settling “in” and getting to know one another be a most positive bonding for all.
CHANGE - “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” “I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change .... I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back.” “I cannot say whether things will get better if we change, what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.”
And which quotes speak to you about change? Reflection question #4 for “Congregations in Transition” wants to know “what positive changes are you willing to support in order to live out God’s mission in this place?” Good question, but what do we see as positive change? Young pastor, more contemporary music and services, lots of new members, expanded outreach ministry, combining with another church, better giving practices by current members, .... I appreciate the focus of the question on “you.” Our community of faith is about you and me and all of us. Change is inevitable. Whether it is a positive force for all of us will depend on each of us and God’s Spirit.
You are a strong, vibrant, caring and fun community. May you continue to seek each other’s guidance and that of your new pastor and always our God.