Words From

It is something of a blow to all of us to learn that Edwin is leaving. The out-pouring of affection for him has been heartfelt and widespread and I know he appreciates it very much. This combined with Charlie's departure has left the body of Christ in this particular place not a little unsettled, I suspect. So what should we do?

First, we should pray all the harder for the Search Committee that they will be led to consider the next pastor in good time, in God's time. Pray that they will get neither discouraged nor anxious, but knowing that the congregation is praying for them, they will continue to proceed deliberately and with certainty in their hearts that God is leading them. A small search committee has been established to find a new organist/choir director. Add them to your prayer list.

Second, we do well to remember that this is a congregational church. By the very way we are organized, our strength flows from the dedication, the talent and hard work of people who sense, if not know, that their own lives would be poorer without the friendships and fellowship that takes place here. So rather than pull back in any way, which may be a natural tendency, we must double down on our commitment. When the nominating committee calls, be prepared to say yes. Come to church every Sunday you possibly can. See if you can find a way to increase your giving even a little.

Third, let us be gentle with each other and give encouragement to each other whenever we can. The lay and clergy leadership is trying hard to see next steps, trying to plan, trying to ask the right questions about our life together in a time of change, both in the world, in the wider church and in our own circumstances.

Finally this.
"Above all," Paul says to the Colossians, but he could be saying it to us, "put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."