Last month I started sharing with you some of the different aspects that need to happen during the interim time, before your new pastor arrives. The first task is “Coming to Terms with Our History.” Sharon Church has a wonderful, and long history. In 2017 we are celebrating the 200th year of this church. (Be checking the newsletter for information about the celebrations). There are at least three different aspects of looking at Sharon’s history.
Celebrating the Good:
How has God been at work in and through SCPC to spread the good news of Jesus Christ? How have you experienced the grace of Jesus Christ through this congregation? What are the highlights and accomplishments of the past 10 years? 50 years? 200 years? What are some ways you have had fun together, as the body of Christ? Life is a glorious gift and it is always good to celebrate.
Releasing the Hurt & Anger:
During the recent past Sharon went through a difficult time. Mistakes were made (by everyone, not just one side or the other). Opportunities were missed. Emotions ran high. There are many emotions that go with all that happened – fear (will Sharon survive?); sadness (my friends have left and my church just isn’t the same), anger (I can’t believe s/he said that, or did that, or…), pain (my heart is broken, the ache inside is overwhelming).
When I arrived here two years ago Sharon Church had a dazed look. People seemed shell-shocked and afraid. Much healing has happened and we are moving into a wonderful new future. However, the emotions of the past don’t just disappear. Covering them over does not mean that they aren’t still there and won’t impact the future. Any unresolved feelings and issues will be baggage that is carried over into the ministry of the new pastor. What can we do now that will help us release these issues and feelings? What changes need to be made before the new pastor arrives?
Grieving the Losses:
Our world, and the community we serve, is changing rapidly. Sharon church has also changed. Any change, even ones we want, can bring a certain amount of emotion. Some of you probably miss Roger. You may have been counting on him to officiate at a wedding (or funeral), or to baptize your children. Others are probably glad that he is gone, but still struggle with the changes that are coming. Some of you miss your friends that have left the church. Some of you miss the good old days when Sharon had multiple worship services and a growing Sunday school, lots of staff and programs. If we don’t adequately grieve these losses they will have an impact on the future. What do you need to allow you to come to terms with these losses?
As we process and work through our feelings and issues we will come to terms with our history. We will also have more energy and faith to enable us to lean into the future and embrace the ministry to which God is calling us. If you have questions, comments, or ideas about this please let me know. Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), give me a call (412-264-7400), come by the office and chat or I’ll come by to visit you. I’d love to hear your remarks.
Current and Past Good News articles and announcements.