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Pastor's Corner

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Pastor's Corner

From your Temporary Shepherd...

Lame Duck Land

I think it's safe to say that President Obama had a more difficult time being a "lame duck" than I will. It's well known that his successor was not someone he would have chosen, nor is the current agenda one that he would embrace.

Such is not the case at CFC. While I have not yet met Lauren in per-son, the enthusiasm of the search committee as they focused on a can-didate, the excitement of the congregation over her official selection last week, the positive comments from individual conversations, and the unanimous vote to call her as your pastor, all serve to assure me that God's choice for you has indeed been confirmed. The "pastor whom God is preparing," as I've raised in prayer on Sunday mornings, will soon be on her way to you!

We will spend some time over the next few months continuing to pre-pare for the transition, as we have been doing. As time goes on, I will work closely with the Transition Team and Search Committee, and other ministry teams, to make sure everything is in place and we're doing all we can to welcome her. Much of this will be done closer to the transition in May, but now the landscape has a different shape. This will serve as the background of our work and worship together for the next 3+ months.

There is still much to be done, and this can be a powerful time in the life of a church, as we look to the future with joy and anticipation in the midst of these challenging days in our country.

I offer a couple pieces of caution as well:

A few years ago I followed a pastor who was retiring, as I did here. He had been in the church for 15+ years, and was dearly loved. He an-nounced his retirement 10 months ahead of his leaving, to give the church plenty of time to make plans for his departure, etc. (I thought this was a good idea, but 10 months did seem a little extreme.)

Every now and then, after I arrived, I would mention the fact that I was sure he had prepared them well, and they nodded. But as they got to know me better, it came out that he had done too good a job of it, so to speak. "Yes, he prepared us.......and prepared us.......and prepared us......and it got really annoying!" It became the subject for every service, apparently. They never really said it, but I got the impression they were almost glad to see him leave!

We're not doing that here - not having a weekly lesson on my departure and Lauren's arrival. I can't imagine that would be helpful for any of us. We will celebrate Lent and Easter and other special times, we will share in mission giving, we will educate and have fun with the kids, we will enjoy food and fellowship, we will continue the ministries that God has called us to, and we will do them with great joy - no longer with the anxiety of uncertainty, but with the assur-ance of a task completed, a promise kept, a call accepted.

Please remember also, in these early days, that Lauren is still informing and planning her departure in her church. That is where her energies need to go now. As time goes on, she will focus her energies more to looking ahead to Colchester and CFC. When a pastor moves to a new church it's not just a change of jobs. It's a change of home and community, and even a change of state - a total reorienting of life. It takes a lot of emotional and physical energy to accomplish this.

Please keep Lauren in your prayers as she goes through this transition time in her life, and continues to pastor her church in Mass. I covet your prayers as well as I begin to look for my next place of ministry. And please let me know how I can pray for you, as individuals and as a congregation.

I look forward to working with you for awhile longer - and I think "lame duck" land could be a pretty cool place.

In Christ's work together,
Pastor Jerrie

Colchester Federated Church, Colchester, Connecticut