Welcome to Spring and all it brings…another time change and even some early March snow. I love season changes in the Midwest. It is always a surprise.

Something else that is always a surprise is having a new pastor. She thinks she is doing things normally, only to find out that she has thrown a curve to someone in a pew. By this time (I began October 1), we are 5 months in together. I have probably done something that has surprised you or thrown you a curve. If that is so, please come talk to me. We, you, and I are forging a new relationship of ministry based on God’s covenant with humanity and our covenant with each other. Relationships takes communication, time, and nurture. If there is anything you would like to ask me or discuss with me, please make an appointment—let us have coffee, tea, or even water. I am here to listen and answer any questions.

There is a time in every relationship where the adage, “The Honeymoon is Over.” In the church, that is usually signaled by some words I have begun to hear. “That is how we have always done it.” I respect those words and the tradition behind them. I also will challenge those words in order to feel out the future. In an effort to know each other better, I just want to note some things about how I usually do things.

  1. I seldom if ever make decisions on my own. I love being part of a community so decisions are made in community. That is how the UCC functions. For instance, the decision to add wine to communion in order to make communion more inclusive came from two congregation members to me, to the council, and then was passed in a vote. The theme of Lent was put forward by me, along with two other options, and was chosen by church leaders. There will be new banners for Palm Sunday and Easter. They were chosen by worship and decorating teams. I will be as surprised to see them as you will! I look forward to the surprise. 
  2.  I may have an opinion, but that is all it is. I, as a pastor, am a spiritual leader and resource. I may share how I feel about something, but that is all it is. Some feelings may be stronger than others, but in a UCC church, decisions are not made on one person’s opinion. Recently, I felt strongly that we had two little children who needed Sunday school. I gathered Tracy and Marcia (who work alone as the Christian Education Team) and we figured it out together. Others are joining to teach. Change is being molded by several hands.
  3. And the third and most important thing to know about how I work is this…I love communication that is a straight line. If you have a question about something, I want to listen to it and answer it. Even if you feel like it could be interpreted as a critique, that is ok! I’m open to that. I much prefer a straight line to a triangle. Even when a conversation is difficult to start or awkward, if it is a direct one, it can be healthy!

Please feel free to set up a time to talk with me. Lunch? Love to eat! Coffee? Drink it daily. A seat in my office? They are all open to you. And truly, from the bottom of my heart, if I have done anything to shake you up…I am sorry. It wasn’t my intention. I’m just the new kid treading water. Come tell me about it.