I am grateful for the show of appreciation by the congregation this past Sunday. I cherish the words you shared in worship, the meal, cake, cards, and gifts. I was completely caught by surprise and thank you for your affirming messages.

These past years have been challenging for us all, my family and I included. Our world and society have been constantly changing. The pandemic has left lasting effects on our lives as individuals, a congregation, and society. When disruptions come into our lives, many try to go back to how things were before—to go back to what we know and what makes us comfortable.  Yet, that is not possible. Moreover, God calls us forward. Forward in recognizing this moment as a time of transition and change. Forward in openness to different perspectives of what faithfulness may look like in this time and in the future. Forward in our imagination of what church must become, decentralizing our assumptions, biases, preferences, and being led from the margins.

As we continue this journey together, offering the gift of presence and support to one another will be essential. Growing in communion with one another, affirming and nurturing our gifts for ministry, will help us on our way.  I give thanks to God for a congregation that seeks to grow in community, even with the challenges it brings at times, and pray that the Spirit will fill us with her wisdom and humility to seek her ways.