So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! – 2 Corinthians 5:17
A new year is upon us, and there is hope and adventure on the horizon for Our Redeemer’s! 2022 was intense in many, many ways. We saw the retirement of Pastor Kathy, pledged to retire our mortgage, and witnessed the return of worship in person for most of our members. Many beloved people moved away, and many dear souls moved into the great beyond. We have had scores of visitors in worship, and piles of new folks finding a faith home among us. We have seen the return of beloved traditions – Holden Village, Confirmation, Luciafest, Swedish Pancakes, and more. We look forward with joy to the Earthcare Retreat in April for the first time since 2018.
By far the most dynamic changes are that of our structure as a congregation, in staffing and volunteer ministers. Our congregation has entrusted the process of transition into the hands of our Transition Team, lead by Pastor David Hahn. They have been doing the faithful and prayerful work of asking questions, processing answers, leading conversations, and helping to discern the next steps of the congregation as we lean in to God’s calling to ministry. The next few months will be vital to our process as we move to a creating a “call team,” and return to a fully staffed church.
Here’s the scary part – it may look very different than it has in the past – and actually, it must!
We are not who we were before the pandemic. We are not who we were even six months ago. To look to our past organization as a guide for the future would be a mistake; like putting new wine into old wineskins. Instead, as we continue the process of adaptive change as a community of faith, we become stronger, healthier, and better able to say “yes!” to the life-giving ministries we are called to, and “no!” to those things that suck the energy of the congregation without positive effect.
Sometimes, these changes feel like they’re slower than molasses, and sometimes it feels as if they have been sprung upon us with no warning.
As we move into the new year, and feel the forward motion in our individual lives, I ask that you pray regularly and sincerely for the health and future of Our Redeemer’s.
Pray for the transition team. Pray for the council. Pray for the new people finding their way into this congregation. Pray for the staff. Pray for me. Pray with joy and with concern. This is a beautiful and vigorous congregation, and I am absolutely inspired about our life together moving forward! It’s not always easy, but it is indeed always good. Just like God is always creating something new, so we too are renewed. Thanks be to God!
Blessings to you all,