So, the time has arrived. It reminds me a bit of preparing for a dinner party. Picking the menu and shopping for the food is the easy part. Getting the house clean and the table set is a breeze. What tests my organizational skills and patience is coordination of cooking each portion of the meal so that it comes hot from the oven and straight to the table….and make it look effortless in the process! I imagine Martha Stewart standing in a quiet corner of my kitchen with her arms crossed, a Mona Lisa smile offering me a nod of approval. At least, that’s how it is in my daydreams.
My current timing dilemma involved countless meetings and conversations, a mountain of books read and many, many hours of prayer. The result is the announcement of my intention to retire in September 2016. I have enlarged that last number to avoid any confusion. We are looking over a year in advance which should ease some of the concern or apprehension some may be feeling about change and transition.
There is a fairly complex process that the United Church requires whenever a congregation goes through a change in ministers. This is an excellent opportunity for visioning, assessing and planning ahead. Congregations often find this an energizing time when one chapter is closed and a page is turned on something new and amazing.
We have lots of time for goodbyes but, before that, we have so much worshipping, learning, serving and playing to do as a congregation. Christ’s Spirit will be there to guide, inspire and challenge us in the work we have to do. And that same Spirit will be there in the laughter and love that gives each of us at WPUC such a comforting sense of being ‘at home’.