October – 2019
I’m feeling the change of the seasons in my bones and in my life.
It could be that as I’m writing this article, the pet that we have had for the last 14 years appears to be in her last days (she’s 15 ½ in human years, 108 in dog years). It could be that a number of you have experienced losses in your families—a brother, a sister-in-law, parents, grandparents, grandchildren. All of these transitions make us aware of how precious life is and how we need to let the people we love know that we love them.
It could be that people I know and love are going through major surgery or treatments and I know that their lives will change because of these treatments, I pray that those changes will all be for the better.
I’m also preparing for the season of temporary change this coming April when I’m going on a 3 ½ month renewal leave and taking time, with my spouse and on my own, to renew my spirit and my soul. Some of the preparations for this time away have already begun and my excitement grows with each new development.
Just to be clear, this renewal leave doesn’t mean a change of pastor. The Staff/Parish Relations Committee and I have both agreed that following my return from my renewal leave in August of 2020, the church and I are planning to be together, at minimum, another year. My relationship to this church will not change, albeit I pray that both the congregation and I will be renewed by this season of absence from one another and that we may come back together renewed and refreshed for more seasons of ministry together.
As the seasons and weather change this fall we are reminded that in every season, in the highs and the lows, in the laughter and the pain, God has promised to always be with us. We never go through any change alone. Jesus our friend is always there.
We go through changes all the time. Some of them happen suddenly as in a death, but more often these changes happen to us gradually. If we are open to it, new seasons can bring us growth and new insights. As I said in a recent sermon, changes in our lives can make us bitter or better.
Here’s praying that we all continue to embrace change and embrace new seasons as we go through these seasons together.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die…a time to week, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. (Eccles. 3:2, 4)