The wind chimes on my front porch are creating a loud, banging concert as the rain begins. I love wind...especially wind blowing across the water if you're out in a boat. But I also love the wind because it means that a change is coming...a cold front or a blustery day or rain. Changes in weather are often energizing - we need this rain! So we welcome these changes.
But, change in the church is often hard! (More on that in a moment)
Ellen Wells, Trevor Hursthouse, Becky and Bob Underwood, Bonnie Yeakey and I recently attended a Parish Leadership Conference at Trinity Center. Canon Sonny Browne, Bishop Skirving, and Canon Matt Stockard organized several workshops for parish leaders throughout our Diocese to help us determine what resources are out there to help strengthen our parishes. We heard about nuts-and-bolts things like church insurance plans, the clergy pension plan, stewardship, planned giving, and by-laws. We also attended sessions concerning how vestries and clergy can work well together, and shared leadership.
We had our ears wide open, because we are all hopeful that soon, a new priest will feel called to be with us at Holy Cross. We got good information that will help us to prepare for this transition, and to help us to understand what this change means for Holy Cross - not just in terms of salary and benefits for our new priest, but in terms of our worship together, our joint ministries, our outreach to the community. How will that look? What will that feel like?
Holy Cross is a special community - a family. And each of us has a role in this large family. I encourage everyone at Holy Cross to begin or continue praying for our new priest, for the new conversations and opportunities for ministry that will come, and even for the changes that may seem new or a bit challenging.
And wow...it's pouring outside! Welcome rain!
May the peace of God be with us this Lent, and as we prepare our hearts for Easter and to welcome our new priest.