Weekly Minute with Pastor Susan

Ask Why
Pastor Susan

Dear ones,

Last week I started an online class called, “How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going.” Many find this funny because right now it’s easy for all of us to relate to the sense of spinning in space with no maps or compasses to guide us at this time. One of the key points so far is that “liminal space” is where something has ended but the new thing is yet to be discerned, and that we should expect to feel disoriented, and more anxious than usual during these times. 

We are now in the midst of several transitions as the Church and as individuals. We are trying to interpret and manage how the institution of Church is necessarily changing in response to the rapid (sometimes dizzying) changes in our society and culture of the past 30 years. Our congregation is still in transition between pastorates (that usually takes a year or three to really settle), and now we are personally experiencing even more rapid, unwelcome changes due to the societal effects of the pandemic, the presidential election and nationwide protests against injustice in our social systems and our governance. It’s all coming too fast and that makes for a scary and disconcerting time. 

Uncomfortable with this sense of imbalance, we often act in haste to nail down what to DO about it, thus missing an opportunity to seek the guidance of Holy Spirit in discerning what should come next. This makes it even more important for us to support one another, to pray together and singly, to invite Holy Spirit into our midst and to move our hearts and minds in the way that God would have us go. This takes time and discipline, and it works best if we do much of it together. 

My beloved professor, Dr Tony Everett often said, “God gives us a language to name what is going on and what God wants us to do about it.” The language is scripture, and by seeking guidance and wisdom in ancient writings through the power of the Holy Spirit we may navigate successfully the struggles of our current times. What many are now calling “liminal times,” Dr Everett would describe as “wilderness times.” If we study and pray over the many accounts of biblical figures struggling in the wildernesses of life, we may discern the path that God is calling us to today.

Pastor Susan

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