Most days you can find me out back or along the perimeter of my property contending with invasive plants that are encroaching and overgrowing the rock garden behind my house. We know the multiflora roses, bittersweet, honeysuckle and garlic mustard. For the first time I just identified Japanese knotweed sending up its asparagus like spears. All of these species were not native to our region but cause harm to our existing forest and field scapes. It is a never-ending task to remove them and actually can be satisfying. As I am engrossed in the physical tasks, wielding my mattock, tugging out root systems, my mind engages in other imponderables.

I recently was reading part of Krista Tippett’s interview (Becoming Wise An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living) with her former Yale Divinity School professor of the Hebrew Bible, Ellen Davis. They were examining specific words and translations of words in the Bible. In particular, in the King James version the translation of God’s blessing on humankind in Genesis was embraced as the “rallying cry by Christian colonizers and industrialists and explorers: ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’“ Professor Davis offered that the actual Hebrew word used is a strong word but rather than understanding it as dominion she considers it as a challenge to humans to exercise skilled mastery amongst the creatures…of which we are one. Skilled mastery, not in the sense of dominion but in the sense of responsibility for creatures, for the land and the waters, for creation. We have much work to do in this interconnected realm.

As I continued in my further musings, I found myself considering our little church and the tasks before us. I believe that we do serve as caretakers of our church, our church family and its building and even beyond in the wider community.

One of the tasks we are embarking upon is our search for a new pastor. We started with an Ad Hoc Transition Team which has crafted a draft of our profile which we will tweak and then submit to the Conference to initiate our search. The Transition Team needs to reconfigure as a Search Team. We need a few dedicated folks to serve in the screening of profiles and the actual interviews. We will probably conduct much of this process via Zoom. We do not know how long the Search process might take. It is another stepping out in faith with no exact time closure.

We ask for five members to please step forward. If you have questions or are so inclined, please speak with Pat or Susan or myself. We hope to form this important team in June so we can proceed with our Search.

Jay Aronson