Into the Future: Fearless & Together, by Pamela J. Pettyjohn

Into the Future: Fearless & Together, by Pamela J. Pettyjohn

By the time you are reading this, we are beginning our 2nd week after Doug’s retirement. One chapter in the life of this congregation has closed and another one is beginning. Many of you have seen many such new chapters; for some of you, Doug is the only Senior Minister you have known at this church. Wherever you find yourself, know that you are not alone. We are all in this together, and the God we serve is walking right beside us every step of the way.

During the last week of June, I had the privilege of accompanying four of our young people to a new experience, called PassportKids, along with Mark Duke, who was our male chaperone and bus driver. This is a mission camp for children who just completed the 3rd-6th grade; it is held at various college campuses around the United States, and is staffed by an excellent group of young adults, all fine role models - the type by whom you would hope your children would be influenced. The theme for the week was Fearless. And the theme verse was I Corinthians 16:13-14: Stay awake, stand firm in your faith, be brave, be strong.  Everything should be done in love.

I couldn’t help but think that this is a good verse right now for us. Because the unknown can cause us to be fearful or to want to withdraw. But we can stand firm, remembering that this congregation is about a lot more than who our senior minister is. Sometimes when something is new or unfamiliar, it makes us uncomfortable. And let’s face it, most of us do not like to feel uncomfortable. But if we can be brave and strong - living with the unknown and the unfamiliar – while also looking for the good that is to be found among us, we can better be prepared for the future God has for us.

This is not a time to be fading away until you see what happens. Now is a time to be even more committed to serving God through this congregation, loving one another through the grief, and encouraging one another to look to the future instead of the past. We are Disciples of Christ, a Movement for Wholeness in a Fragmented World ... and we need each of us to do our part to be positive and hope-filled, doing all things with great love – so that we might make Doug proud, and even more: so that we are remaining faithful to the call of God on our lives.

-Shalom, Pamela