9/30/18- Next Generation Leaders

Posted on : Sep 27th, 2018 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

I’m assuming that if you are reading this weekly reflection, you also read my letter from Tuesday of this week in which I shared with you that I will be retiring in February, 2020.  If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so.  I intentionally wrote that letter in the context of the many significant events that have occurred in our ministry together during my time as your pastor. In the letter I said, “As I look back on this history, I have a great sense of pride and achievement in all that we have gone through and accomplished together.

After much spiritual reflection and discernment, I am also aware that this is the time for me to begin the work of transitioning pastoral leadership so that you and God can call someone new to lead this magnificent congregation in your next phase of ministry.”

The great spiritual writer of the book of Ecclesiastes, a book that is often referred to as a book of “wisdom,” says, “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.”  As I reflected on those words, I became more and more aware that now is the time for me to begin the work of transitioning pastoral leadership so that you and God can call someone new to lead this magnificent congregational in your next phase of ministry.

Over the years we have built strong bonds of trust with one another.  I’ve married and baptized many of you, and I’ve officiated at the funerals of so many of your loved ones.  For some, we’ve shared times of ecstatic joy.  For others, we’ve shared times of anguish, pain and sorrow.  And for some, we’ve shared both.  In the weeks and months ahead, I want us to do the work that is needed as we grieve the loss of our relationship with each other, and I want us also to celebrate the wonderful things we have done to bring life to our faith and justice to our world.

This Sunday we begin that process that will end on Sunday, February 23, 2020.  By the way, isn’t it wonderful of the Academy Awards/Oscar producers moved the event from my last Sunday here to earlier in February!  I never dreamed I had that kind of power and influence in good old Hollywood!  NOT.

As we move through this process, I want to be sure that each of you has a chance to voice your concerns and share your feelings, so this Sunday (Sept. 30) and next (Oct. 7) we will have conversation times in the Sanctuary after worship.  This will be the first of many opportunities for you to be involved in the transitioning process.  This week and next will be times for you to share your thoughts and feelings, your hopes and fears, about the ending of my pastorate with you.  You can also ask questions about the transition process as well as share any other thoughts and feelings you may have.  I hope you will join me for one or more of these two first events.

As we journey through this process together, we will have other forums for you to participate in as well.  Luckily for us, we have plenty of time to prepare for the end of my time with you as your pastor as well as prepare to welcome your next pastor into this wonderful community of faith.

More on Sunday!



Ecclesiastes 3: 1-9

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

A right time for birth and another for death,

A right time to plant and another to reap,

A right time to destroy and another to construct,

A right time to cry and another to laugh,

A right time to lament and another to cheer,

A right time to make love and another to abstain,

A right time to embrace and another to part,

A right time to search and another to count your losses,

A right time to hold on and another to let go,

A right time to shut up and another to speak up,

A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

From The Message Copyright © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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