Wow, can you believe October is here already???? It feels like it was just summer, and September flew by! I admit, even though I am not a big fan of winter I love the autumn. Where I grew up, in southern Massachusetts, ear the ocean, autumn was pretty but not like it is here. There it was mostly yellow and pale orange with some pale red. Here, the trees start to show their “true colors” as the leaves turn a million shades of yellow, orange and red. It is spectacular!
Autumn is a great time to reflect on what our “true colors” are – as individuals and as a church community. What is blazing right beneath our surface, just waiting to burst forth? What will it take for us, like the trees, to be brave and let those colors show? These are great questions to ponder during interim time. Before a profile can be made and a search begun, we need to look beneath the surface. We need to uncover our “true colors” as a church community, and find how to get that to shine for all to see. In the autumn, the leaves on the trees absorb their chlorophyl which is what makes them look green. It is only then that we get to see their “true colors.” As a church, you may need to do something similar. You may need to let go of ways of being and thinking that no longer serve the purpose or vision of this church community so that as a community you discover the “true colors” of this church. Just like some trees start the autumn early, we saw some of this discovery this summer when we met to talk about being an Open and Affirming church and how to show that to the community. Soon, we will have a new flag hanging on the front of our church (thanks Jeanine for all your work on this) that will let people know they are welcome here at West.
But, there is more to do! As we move forward through the autumn and into the winter, we will restart the tasks of interim time that were put on hold by the pandemic. (There is no guarantee here … if community cases go up and it is not safe to meet in person we will have to figure something out) First, we will take a look at the by-laws of the church. I will be meeting with each board and committee and going over the parts that pertain to each. The council and I will go over all of the other material in the by-laws. This shouldn’t take very long, because as I have said many times, they are some of the best by-laws I have seen.
Once we get through the by-laws, it will be time to look at the history of the church. I would like to do this as an in person gathering, where people can get up and speak to the history of the church (past) and tell what their experience of the church is in the present. After we get through that we will meet and look towards the future. What is the vision for the church? When that is done we can prepare a profile and begin the search process.
Yes, this is a lot of work and will take some time. How much time? I do not know. No one does. This has never been done during a pandemic where thigs are changing and unpredictable. What I do know is we will get through this – together.
So, now that autumn is here, I invite you to go out and enjoy it. Take a drive to places you know and maybe places you have never been (in New Hampshire) and enjoy the beauty. Take it in and let it energize you. Wonder in amazement at the handiwork of our Creator!