October is a bittersweet month - the end of summer, the prospect of winter, an analogy to the "autumn of life." October this year holds special poignancy for me because what has been a wonderful experience of ministry and relationships is now coming to an end. (My last Sunday will be October 28).

This, of course, is the nature of interim ministry and in some ways, the relative shortness of my stay is a real testament to the Search Committees. Most interims run about 18 months and frequently those that drag on beyond two years signal some deeper problems in the church. But the diligence of these well-chosen groups means that all of you can experience one of the freshest starts I’ve ever heard of in a church: a new Senior Minister and a new Director of Music Ministries all at the same time.

There is a danger, of course, that the excitement of this coincidence of newness can give way to the realization that these guys may actually want to introduce some change. As one parishioner exclaimed when she learned that the “passing of the peace” was about to be added to the service by the new minister, "I haven't spoken to anyone in this church for fifty years and I’m not about to start now."

Knowing that church and change may share ch in their spelling but little else, is there anything that will keep FCC Ridgefield open to new ideas?

Yes. Trust

You must trust these men you have called, trust the Search Committee who found them, trust the experience they bring, trust their eagerness to serve and above all trust that God has been in this whole process and has sent them here at this point in your history. Be not the first one to throw a stone at a new idea, to fire an arrow at a different style or to offer a low grumble because your comfort level is being challenged. Rather, rise as one to capture the vision of these two leaders and join them in the journey to a new day for this great and good congregation. I will ever remain grateful for having known and served you.