Sunday, January 1, 2017

Making transitions

Joyce Sasse -
The New Year is a great time to think about making transitions. A memory comes to mind from years ago leading up to Advent / Christmas decorating in a small rural congregation.

The problem was that the collection of decorations was showing its age, as was the wonderful lady who over-saw the annual transformation of the sanctuary. It didn’t help that those who dis-assembled the garlands in January left a jumbled mess in the cupboard under the stairs.

Faithful though she was, the senior needed help. Her daughter-in-law wanted to become involved, but recognized how any radical change could easily cause offence, at the least, or even alienation.

That’s where a third party played the go-between role – affirming, wondering if additional help might be needed, suggesting inviting volunteer assistance. The transition came about graciously and slowly (over a couple of years). Many others, aware of the finesse needed, expressed their appreciation to both individuals involved.

Repeatedly, our congregations can be learning-grounds where members discover ways they can participate with others in making decisions, suggesting new insights, recognizing changes in thinking that occur between one generation and another. What is more, congregations have multi-generational members, are male/female, include conservatives and activists, and include many other combinations. Often, too, they reach out to involve those from a variety of faith and cultural backgrounds.

Consider the endless possibilities for forming close-in experiences and relationships, expectant with diversity, that can nurture and enrich our lives.

“We are pilgrims on a journey / fellow travellers on the road, / we are here to help each other / walk the mile and bear the load.”  - hymn by Richard Gillard

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