As we bid Pastor Patty our heartfelt farewell and find ourselves adrift in this Lenten period we are in a place of transition. We have been here before and it is part of the cycle of life, especially in a small church. Just two years ago we can remember the total upheaval we were in when we were in stay-at-home mode and faced deaths of several beloved members, and then Pastor Charlie died suddenly. Pastor Patty came into our midst in June 2020. She got to know us in both small outdoors groups and virtually on Zoom. In the fall we met for two sessions of Appreciative Inquiry and out of those conversations the Creating Space Collective was born. In January 2021 we launched Creating Space. With the award of the UCC grant for $7,500 we have been affirmed in our efforts to reach out to individuals who might not attend church on Sunday but wish to engage in our spirituality and art workshops.
Most recently through Creating Space we had the pleasure of being led in a Contemplative Prayer workshop with Rev. Mark Longhurst. To gather with him these many years later with our many intervening circumstances… he is the father of two sons for example and we have rebuilt our church… it was a reunion of old friends. We may be in different moments in our lives, but we could still connect deeply.
We have a thoughtful tag team of pastors who will lead worship in the coming months.
Our Transition Team, which includes Pat Wallender, Susan Bues, Katharine Houk, Ed Fallon, Jennifer Hay and myself, has met twice. We wish to honor our community that we have built through these years and which has helped to sustain us through much adversity: fire, family losses, pandemic. We have reflected upon how we share core values with the Shakers: community, inclusion, innovation, integrity and conviction. We hope we can strengthen our community which has been fragmented during pandemic. This will be a labor of love for one another as we go forward.