“We are.” These two words are guiding and shaping us this fall. As your pastors we are struck by the ways we are rooted – connecting and re-connecting, celebrating and grieving, together; and the ways we are changing – a season of change in a time that has been full of transitions. We are especially aware of the significance of Pastor Catherine’s retirement. This is just seven weeks away. We are in the midst of making sure that we have opportunities to connect with Catherine and to express our gratitude for her ministry of twenty years with us.
We will have a celebration of Catherine’s ministry on November 20th from 12:30 – 2:30 pm at the church. Look for details in the November Church and Home. Catherine will preach her final sermon on November 21st, and her final worship service with us on November 28th will include a Liturgy of Release.
As we bless Catherine and wish her well, we are also working together to make sure that her responsibilities in pastoral care, spiritual nurture, faith formation,
justice work, and organizational support are covered. The Bridge Minister search committee, chaired by Ed Coleman, is working hard to find a Bridge Minister to cover much of this work. While we hope to have someone in place by December, we also are developing plans for ministry coverage if we do not meet that goal. Our Bridge Minister will provide care and support as the
congregation explores rootedness and change, preparing for a settled pastor. During this bridge time the Pastoral Search Committee, chaired by Roberta Hollowell and Royce Morrison, will lead the congregation with the long-term work of calling a new pastor.
We know our congregation’s resiliency by looking back at our previous transitions. Our former Bridge Minister, Pastor Todd, helped us through the work of that season. Our collective work laid a strong foundation for new and different phase of growth and change.
For the next seven weeks, Catherine will continue her work of serving this congregation, while the entire Leadership Team works together to facilitate as smooth a transition as possible. We know this can be an anxious time. Please reach out to any of us if you are wondering about any particular issue in this transition, if you have concerns, or if you want to know where to take a question or offer feedback.
Please hold us in your prayers while we do this careful and faithful work.
We, in turn, are praying for you. And we know that God is holding us all together in love.