When I was a child my family often watched the Ed Sullivan Show. It was a variety show with wide appeal (it featured the first televised appearance of the Beatles in America!). There was one recurring act that always made me nervous. I have no idea who the performer was but he would spin plates on long, skinny poles. Just when you were sure he was about to lose one as it slowed down, just in time he would start it spinning again and move to another.
As we move into this season of transition and new opportunities at church, I suppose it can feel a bit like keeping multiple plates spinning in the air. At our Annual Meeting last month we decided to use the titles: Head of Staff and Head of Program for our clergy staff. We also approved a process to discern whether Rev. Ben Konecny may move into the Head of Staff position when Rev. Miller retires the end of this year. We will begin work on the first part of our pastoral search this month, naming a team to write our church’s Profile. And we recently finished another round of conversations with John Laster of Horizons Stewardship, assessing our readiness to embark on a Capital Campaign. His feasibility study will be delivered later this month. Then the congregation will have an opportunity to decide if we wish to move forward. Meanwhile we enter the season of Lent later this month and continue to engage in dozens of avenues for ministry at church and in our wider community.
It may feel like spinning multiple plates, but there is a key difference: our “busy-ness” is anchored in our church’s call to ministry -- to become the Body of Christ in the world. We are world shapers. We are those who speak of God (theologians) and bear witness to God at work in our world. It may feel like busy work, but it is holy work.
During our last round of gatherings with John Laster, it has become clear that we are blessed with a deep bench of capable, faithful leaders and we are a healthy church by any measure. We can approach this busy season, not with fear or anxiety but with the confidence of a deep sense of holy purpose.
And, if a plate happens to fall and break (I’m pretty sure it happened a few times on the Ed Sullivan show), we will also rely on God’s mercy!
With Great Hope,
Rev. Nate Miller