We all know that one thing we can usually count on is change in our personal lives. It happens to our bodies as we grow. It happens in families as children mature, as siblings enter new relationships, as parents move into new spaces, as elders deal with aging. Change is inevitable, in lots of ways, with lots of angles.
But it’s also true, as the old adage reminds us, “The more things change the more they stay the same.” We might move into a new house and paint it the same color as the one we left. An annual holiday rolls around and we invite the same friends for a traditional meal together. We get a surprise letter from an old friend (okay, an email!) and realize that she sounds almost exactly the same as we remember her from the eighth grade.
The human journey is a flowing mixture of change and constancy, and congregational life mirrors our own. This spring we’re experiencing some significant change as Kim Beyer-Nelson, Director of Children’s Religious Exploration since January 2010, left Cedars following her decision to pursue different activities. Also, Frank Mandt, long-time editor of this newsletter, decided to complete his long, dedicated service in that role and now, here we are, writing our last column for a monthly Beacon. (See elsewhere for information on intriguing new methods being implemented by the board’s Communications Task Force.)
These are both pretty large changes, and it can feel a bit dizzying to imagine how we will adjust in response to them. But here’s the good news. Though change is always present, Cedars is also in a very stable place, with many blessings to count. Our relationship with The Island School is strong and we hope to spend Sunday mornings there for many years to come. We have a nice church office in a garden setting. Finances are improving and our lay leadership is strong, providing a steady hand on the helm and a growing series of fulfilling programs. And as of this summer, your co-ministers will have served Cedars longer than any other colleague.
Because so much at Cedars is stable and resilient, we have significant capacity to move creatively in response to the changes. People are excited about the opportunities to explore new directions in both Children’s RE and communication. As Jaco likes to put it, folks are “leaning in” as they realize how much they can both offer to their beloved church and receive in the valuable process of building community together.
How about you? What excites you about Cedars? Where can you “lean in” to make a difference? As the summer begins to unfold, we encourage you to consider how you might deepen your connection to Cedars and augment both the energy of change and the power of stability, bringing greater fulfillment to your life along the way.
Let us know what you think and feel in these lengthening days. We stand ready to support you as we move with excitement and hope toward our fourth year among you.
PS. For the first time, we’re offering you the chance to “vote” on bringing back a favorite earlier sermon (or one you regretfully missed), to be preached on three Sundays in August. Ballots will be available at church on June 5 and 12.