I want to thank you so very much for the time you are gifting me for my upcoming Sabbatical. It is my deepest prayer that you know how much I love you. I couldn’t have imagined the blessings that continue to be showered on me (and my family) because of you.
Starting June 5, I will not be the person you contact if you need something for the church. Jill Pepper will be that person for June and July, and then depending on what you need, there will be a few people to contact for the month of August. (We will have that in the next newsletter.) I will return to the office on September 5.
Before I leave, I want to touch on a couple of things. I know that there is a lot going on within the life of Faith UCC. Your pastor will be gone for 13 weeks; and we are still in conversation with First Christian to figure out how we can share ministry. Both of these things are beginning to create some very high emotions—fear, grief, and anger for sure, but also excitement and joy.
Change is scary. Period. Not knowing what comes next in life leaves us feeling vulnerable, and believe me, I don’t like that feeling any more than you do.
So, let’s start with the Sabbatical. Please know that I am not leaving you for 13 weeks on your own. I am sure there is something I will forget to plan for, but I hope that most of whatever might come up will have a plan, or a person to contact. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BE ALONE! You all still have one another! The idea for this time is for me to find rest and to return to you renewed and filled with new passion and fire. But this time is also for you—so that you can dive into the life of this wonderful church, and find your renewed passion and fire. Then, when we come back together, we can forge a new future with God’s love and light leading our way.
As for sharing ministry. Again, I refer to the above paragraph “Change is scary.” But change is inevitable, and if we allow ourselves to be open and dream, change can be amazing! I really don’t have any idea what “change” is going to look like for us, but there will be something. There always is! This is the time for us to explore new things, dream big dreams, and PRAY—asking that God guide us on this journey, not for our will, but for God’s will to be done.
I need to ask you a favor: please don’t stop talking to me about these events in our lives. I know we might not agree on everything, nor should we—that is how we hold one another accountable, and allow for balance. If we shut down and stop talking to each other, the change that will happen will not be healthy. Honest, open, and transparent communication with one another is the only way we can move forward toward God’s will. Dealing with emotion is really hard, so in this time and space, I pray we will offer one another grace, and much patience.
Friends, we are walking this journey together, and I wouldn’t want to walk with anyone other than all of you. I love you so much.
~ Always Peace, Pastor Heidi