As I wrote last month, discernment is an ongoing process. During my sermon on November 19, I said that God asks us to take big risks with great trust. I then asked, “What risk is God calling E&R UCC to right now?” and added that the answer cannot be, “God wants us to call a new minister or God wants Christine to stay because I am not a risky choice.” Even then I was not convinced that God was calling me to stay.
A check-in meeting with Search Committee members on December 6 helped my discernment as well. They have been attentive to the Spirit’s movement among them and diligent in vetting candidates. Their frustration and discouragement were understandable and another sign for me, that maybe God is calling us to ministry together.
By this point, I had already shared my new transitional goals (listed in last month’s Trumpet) with Terry. I also told her I would consider becoming designated interim at the end of my current Interim Ministry Covenant, if all Council and Search Committee members were on board. I then talked with Rev. Rachel Bauman, our Associate Conference Minister, to make sure we were proceeding properly.
Terry and I presented the idea and goals to Council on December 11 and Terry to Search Committee the following Wednesday. Although I wasn’t in the room, I know that Terry asked every single person for their input, including calling Council members who did not attend the meeting. The decision to move forward with me as designated interim was unanimous. It was presented to all of you during worship on December 17.
By the time you receive this newsletter, Terry and I will have met with Rev. Rachel Bauman to talk about next steps. My new Interim Ministry Covenant will have the “non-candidacy” clause removed and the new transitional goals added. We will also talk with Rachel about best practices and timelines.
I am hoping to begin relational meetings soon. The snow, cold temps, and icy weather in January curtailed my efforts to begin meeting with you. So, I used my time to begin looking at areas I might not as an interim and as a result, you will see some new things in the next few months that I hope you like. One of them is the new church logo at the top of this newsletter that conveys our trust in the Holy Spirit!!
I am looking forward to talking with you and to what God has in store for us!
In joyful hope,