First Notes – October 2017

At this writing I find myself preparing to take the last half of my sabbatical time.  As I’ve written earlier, I put down the foundation work on the Jonah musical in June:  it’s time to bring the project to completion this next month.  I put myself on a fairly disciplined schedule last time and anticipate doing the same this time, as well.  Again, I ask for your prayers during this time; I will keep you in mine.

As was the case the last time, the leading of worship and handling of pastoral care emergencies will be left in capable hands.

And in the meantime, the ministry of the church will move ahead.  I’ve given a lot of thought about the whole “From Maintenance to Mission” emphasis that we’ve been undertaking through the “Five Practices” work in the past months.  The work is ongoing.  Certain changes have been undertaken; others will be in the offing in the weeks and months ahead.

One thing I have learned in all these many years is that changes can be unsettling and that the older we get the more we tend to be less fond of change.  Yet, the thing I remind myself of is this:  some change will be necessary for any living thing to keep living.  I’ve never been fond of change for change’s sake, but some of those changes can propel us forward in positive ways.  A church birthed and guided by the restless Spirit of God can expect to be nudged from time to time.  What we shall become as individuals and as a community is a mystery to us now.  All that is certain is that we are all pilgrims on a journey.

May all of your journeys be filled with the presence of God’s Spirit.

Your servant in Christ,

Rev. James Hoppert

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