Friday, February 01, 2008

Changes Come

Changes are coming to our little church, our family here in SmallPort: Pastor J. is leaving in just a few weeks. He told us a couple weeks before Christmas. He has taken a position at a church in Northern California.

Aaron is a youth pastor; he's employed by our church. So this change means even more in our lives than it would if J. were "just" our pastor and not also Aaron's boss, a friend, and in a sense the reason we came out here to Oregon. And it means a lot of unstability and uncertainty in the church for a while, and therefore a bit of anxiety about budgets and jobs and all those sorts of things. You know, the things that keep our lives on the path they're on and our checkbook in near the black.

I think a lot of us in the church have a lot of mixed feelings about this. On the one hand we are obviously sad to say goodbye to someone who's been a teacher, a friend, a part of so much of our lives for so long. On the other hand I think a lot of us felt it coming and honestly were relieved that if there was going to be a parting, it's happening this way, where we can be genuinely happy for him because he's excited about the new place he's being called to (as opposed to, say, "I can't take you people any more!"). The last couple years have had some rough times for our little church. We've lost people, we've lost tempers, and sometimes we've darn near lost hope. We've always been able to pull together enough to carry on, but sometimes it's just time for a change.

Although, as I said, we are starting a very uncertain time, I think in the long run the change will be good for us. It will force us to rearticulate and affirm who we are and who we want to be. It will require us to pull together and put old differences behind us. It asks us to go all in, and so far the congregation seems willing to stand together for their church family.

We will use pulpit supply (substitute teacher preachers) for a few months while we look for an interim pastor. Those hoping Aaron will start preaching a lot . . . better get over it. He does such a good job, but he puts so much time into it to do so that is too busy with the kids to do it too often. The interim pastor will not only preach but provide some leadership to help guide us in our search for a new pastor. Unfortunately, there's apparently a shortage of interim pastors in Oregon . . . oh dear, this whole thing could take a while . . . sigh.

Changes come
Turn my world around

I have my father's hand
I have my mother's tongue
I look for redemption in everyone

Changes come
Turn my world around
Changes come
Bring the whole thing down
Jesus come
Turn the world around
Lay my burden down

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Wendy, I feel for you all. Changes in church leadership are always difficult. In our denomination, the new senior pastor has the right to get all new staff - yp, secretary, everyone. It's not often that they actually do that though. Will be praying over the coming months that you all get the right pastor for you.

Oh, and I kind of lied when I said I quit blogging.