New Year, New Ministry!
For a while now I have been sensing that God was calling me to pursue something different in ministry. Over the last 12 months, conversations and nudgings began to unfold for me. As 2013 came to a close so too did the ministry that I was incredibly blessed to share at the Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church.
One week from today I begin a new call in ministry I am very excited about, serving as the Transitional Presbyter for Albany Presbytery. My call there will be to lead the Presbytery through a time of discernment about their future ministry, taking stock of the rapidly changing nature of the life of faith communities and seeking creativity in response for a new structure. It is a challenge to be sure—one I am excited to begin. Connecting the work of changing church, futuring ministry, Christ-centered missional living, and ongoing transformation must be consistently tied to our central theological understandings around Resurrection living for it to take hold in our lives.
So I invite your prayers for Watchung Avenue as they walk the next step in their path in ministry, for Albany Presbytery as they seek new directions and for me as I lead. Especially your prayers for Juan and Sofia who have lovingly and faithfully accepted these calls as well, taking risks along with me. We will go back and forth between two States for a few months as we finish up the academic year. My greatest love is for who they each are and for our life together.
As I begin, I am holding an image in my mind that I snapped this photograph of while in North Carolina for Christmas. It is an art-installation at the North Carolina Arboretum. The caption from the artist reads this:
And the art is here:
The image in the art and the wonderful question raised by the artist is the same for our beloved faith communities: Are the green living bits that remain all that is left (and will they diminish?) or are they the start of something new that will grow? The artist says that the answer is in the “hands of those who tend the garden.”
I immediately thought of God the Artist and the Garden of Creation as I stood and looked at this art.
We are entrusted with the great gift of tending the Garden of Creation that God in Jesus Christ has offered us. It is up to us to bring our best gifts forward as we cultivate those green tips and see what together with God’s help is next to grow. I am holding this image and this idea in my mind as I prepare to begin in this new ministry.
And I looking forward to engaging with so many of you in new ways as we continue to share ministry together!