Sunday, May 7th
Special Communion for Third Graders, followed by Reception; Annual Meeting
Sunday, May 14th
'Tween Time Coffee Hour honoring Pastor Jerrie
Sunday, May 21st
Pastor Lauren arrives

Pastor's Corner

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Pastor's Corner

From your Temporary Shepherd...

What to write? What to write?

It's always a challenge with my last column.

I want to tell you everything I haven't told you yet.

I want to offer all my ideas, wisdom, favorite poems, devotions, book recommendations.

I want to give you all the advice I have, and all my recommendations for the future.

I want to make sure you are all healthy and happy - as people, families, and church - before I leave you.

Now I realize that this last one, at least, is totally out-of-line with reality, but it's always a pastor's dream to leave things - and the congregation - in good shape, so to speak. I know I can't do that, because much is out of my control. But I know I leave you in good hands, both in terms of the excellent lay leadership in this church, and the future leadership of Pastor Lauren.

And that day is almost upon us, my friends. We are ready!! It is indeed time for a change, for me to move on and for you to welcome her and embrace your future with enthusiasm and energy.

I am excited for you - all of you!

Of course, I have mixed feelings. It's always difficult to leave a church, especially one which has its act together as well as you do. Are you perfect? No. Neither am I, far from it. But I think we have worked well together, challenged each other, enjoyed each other, and have done our best to follow God's lead in being the people of God in this place and time. There will be time to discuss these things and to say good-bye. The first two Sundays in May will be devoted to the transition, and I hope you will be with us for worship, as we do some review and make plans to welcome Lauren. She is arriving next week, to get settled into the house and community, and will officially begin her work here on May 15. She and I have written and talked, and I know it will be a smooth transition. You are in for wonderful adventures in ministry together!

The interim time is always temporary - we know that going in. It is a stop on the pilgrimage that we both are on, as interim pastor and people. This is my 12th interim, 14th pastorate, and in some ways, it doesn't get any easier. One of the resources I've found to be very helpful is a small book by Joyce Rupp, "Praying our Goodbyes." It's been around awhile, but it addresses all kinds of goodbyes - loss of jobs, loved ones, change of place, etc. I recommend it if you haven't read it yet. (Yes, here I am recommending books again.) In her section on journey, Rupp reminds us that as spiritual pilgrims, we do not really settle any place for very long, at least in this world. This is a welcome word for interim pastors.

She writes:

"...while we know that we are always going home, we must also be deeply rooted and involved in our present condition. We, like Jesus, must invest ourselves as totally as possi-ble in loving others and in being loved by them.....It is through this that we are transformed into who we are meant to be. It is through this that we unite with the heart of God." As a reminder that we are only on loan to each other for a little while, she quotes an Aztec prayer that has come to mean a lot to me:

"Oh, only for so short a while you
have loaned us to each other,
because we take form in your act
of drawing us,
And we take life in your painting us,
and we breathe in your singing us.
But only for so short a while
have you loaned us to each other."

It has indeed been a joy to be "on loan" to you for this little while.

Blessings, blessings, blessings!
Pastor Jerrie

Colchester Federated Church, Colchester, Connecticut