Cherry Pickin’s September 2022
Dear Westminster Community,
We are beginning our interim ministry together in uncertain and unsettled times for religious communities. So many of the previously comfortable rhythms and patterns of congregational life have been turned upside down throughout the COVID pandemic. Creative adjustments have often been made – some have even been deeply fulfilling – and, yet, the relative stability we may fondly remember from the ‘before times’ can’t be switched ‘on’ with the press of a button or with a simple intention. There have been so many losses through the pandemic, and the challenges related to this truth are among them.
Instead, we are called to a kind of renewal – a congregational need that hasn’t been quite so fundamental for many decades. This renewal requires the courage to recognize losses, to grieve them together, and to imagine how the path ahead can, yet, be one that promises meaning, purpose, and joy for ourselves and those who follow. While this three-layered process is not new, the unique depth of courage it requires truly is.
Renewal at Westminster will need to be wide-eyed as we look back to both recent experiences and our deeper history. Renewal at Westminster will need candor and honesty as we grieve losses. And, renewal at Westminster will need to imagine new ways of ministering to ourselves, our neighbors, and preparing a welcome for who will follow us in the days to come. It will need all of the varying types of commitment that we bring to our religious home, and, undoubtedly, some new types as well.
My promise to you is that it will be worth it, despite the uncertainty you may feel as we begin. The blessings of a community of faith that is centered on bringing spiritual beauty and wholeness to life for a religiously diverse people are deeply profound. And, being both the designers and the beneficiaries of the renewal of such a community is an opportunity beyond comparison. We will find, I am confident, that we are SO glad that we embarked on a renewal path together.
Let’s proceed in joy – trusting in the hope and vision that our faith has taught for generations and helping it settle into the solid foundations right here at 119 Kenyon Ave. Even during these ‘new times’ that are still only beginning to brighten beyond daybreak.
With deep respect and faith,
ps – I’m looking forward to meeting and talking with as many people in the Westminster community as possible during the weeks and months ahead. Please give me a call or send me an email with days or times that you’re available to meet. Or, if its simpler, you can schedule a meeting with me using calendly: https://calendly.com/revericcherry.