Today marks the official end of transition at my church.  Although we found and voted for our new pastor before the summer began, Monday marks her first official day as pastor of our church.  Here during the hottest days of summer, new traditions and ideas will be formed.

The search for a new minister is NOT an easy task.  I never thought it would be when I agreed to be on the committee to find a new one.  But I didn't think it would be so long and difficult.  Like parenthood, nothing actually prepares you for the ride.  And what a ride it has been.  What lessons I have learned.  What opportunities I have had.

In the time between full time pastors (the end of June 2013 to August 15 2016), we were never a rudderless ship.  There was the pastoral consultant who did an incredible job especially when it came to administration.  But it was the people of the church who really kept things alive and going.  Of course church isn't really about the minister, it's about the people so it should come as no surprise that an "ordinary" bunch did extraordinary things.

As for me, the process was long, hard and exhausting.  If I had to do it all over again, I would, but knowing what I know now...well, let's just say I would have done a few things differently.

What I WOULDN'T have done differently and what I will always cherish was the opportunity to speak to the congregation.  I believe in those three years I stood in the pulpit 6 times (maybe 7; all my "sermons have been posted on this blog. Over three years it was hard to go back and find them all though.)  It wasn't easy.  But it was exciting. It was challenging. It could be nerve wracking.  It could be fun.

It gave me a chance to use my creative wings.  To think on things that I might not ordinarily consider and apply "religion" to "real life."    I had an opportunity to have a safe place to share my thoughts.  I made mistakes.  (I learned to number my pages when I printed out the service after getting completely and totally lost one Sunday.  No one booed or hissed.  It was ok.  I just took a few moments and rearranged my papers and moved on.  No harm.  In hindsight, what a liberating experience!)  I spoke before large groups and small; it didn't matter what the size.  What mattered is that I got to share my thoughts, my interpretation of God’s word.

My time of substitution is over.  A new person steps into the pulpit and I'm excited to hear what she has to say and share.  Life is full of new opportunities and new beginnings and now is our time.


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