John 14: 7Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
Last week we had a pretty busy week with Presbytery meetings and some live-stream talks from the Moderator of our denomination. And they were very uplifting as well as educational. One of the talks Russ attended gave us a lot of nice tools on working with churches in transition.
Transition is the emotional process as people move from one emotional situation to another; while change is the movement from one situation to another. They are not the same. We would be right in calling the current shift from a yoke to a non-yoke, from co-pastors to one pastor to be called transition.
The more difficult part of this transition is we are still transitioning we have not actually yet transitioned. We are in a state of limbo, knowing the transition is coming and yet not quite knowing what it is to look like. And when we are in such a state it is our human nature to retreat. It is our instinct to withdraw from the situation – mainly because it leaves us very uneasy. And so, this is why when our churches are in flux we often see people withdraw from regular attendance.
An early post, gave us some helpful information about the psalms and Walter Bruggerman’s psalms of orientation, disorientation and reorientation. Right now we are in disorientation and we are not ready yet to move to reorientation. So we must find a way to stay in this state without withdrawing, without letting the worries consume us and without letting the hype of transition weigh on us.
John reminds us that Jesus left us peace – saying “do not let your hearts be troubled.”
Do NOT let our hearts be troubled! The truth behind this is that God is in control and God’s plan is working itself out. Russ and I see that as we continue to search and serve you. And you should see that, as God has provide for this church for 200 years and a little disorientation now isn’t going to be the end of it.
I encourage each of you to not withdraw but instead turn your trouble to God. Let us lift up to God control and trust that God’s will be done. Let us use this time of transitioning to show our faith and praise to our Lord. Let us use this time of transitioning to think about what we are truly grateful for and remember to bring with us to Pentecost service our 50 thanksgivings.