You may have noticed it. I sniffle quite often these days. I sniffle because of an allergic reaction to what is happening all around me. Just look outside and you can see evidence of change. The tree I planted last spring has grown new leaves and branches. The days are getting longer and the air is getting warmer. The flowers are blooming and birds are singing. Change is everywhere; but change is not causing the allergic reaction. It is simply a side-effect of the pollen that comes out in this season.
But it got me to thinking about how some people almost seem to have an allergic reaction to change itself. We don’t like it, and so we tend to resent it if we can’t reject it. We spend hours in traffic because of road construction, for example, and we resent it. But if we didn’t drive so much and so often, we wouldn’t need the roads to be maintained or improved. We don’t like the change demanded by our own choices!
In the church, we have the same concern. We have so appreciated watching Brenda grow in her role as an Associate Pastor and have come to depend upon her insights and her wisdom. Some of us cannot imagine what it will be like without her in our midst. And yet the change is coming. Since she was appointed here two years ago we knew that as a TiM Associate she would only be with us for two years before being assigned as a solo pastor. It is a change we had been told was coming, even if we have been resisting it. Her last Sunday with us will be June 11.
Some have also noted the changes taking place in our youth program. After we announced that Becca would not be returning, we saw an opportunity to reshape our staff. Rather than bemoaning the changes taking place, we found a way to take advantage of it. At a special charge conference last month, we approved a plan to hire a full-time Associate, rather than a TiM Associate. The job description calls for someone who will be responsible for both Youth and Young Adult ministries. And the good news is that we found someone who will join our staff and help us make that plan a reality!
In July, Bev Baumgartner will join our staff. (She has written a brief article of introduction you can find elsewhere in this issue of the Logos.) Those who have met with her are excited about the possibilities in store for us. It is the kind of change that makes some people nervous, but it also brings with it a great deal of excitement!
We will be finding ways to introduce Bev to you over the course of the next few months. But I want to remind you how helpful it will be for everyone to wear your name tags so she can get to know us! (If you don’t have one or can’t find yours, please let us know!)
I hope my sniffles go away soon. They usually pass with the change of the season. And that helps me look at change as a gift from God. I hope you can see that, too!