Greetings! We are about a week away from beginning ministry together, and I am excited. The first step in this adventure? We need to invest the time in truly getting to know each other. When you link together in God’s ministry and assume the responsibility of co-ministry, you are charged with building a relationship together. But how do we know we are going to like being in a relationship together? How do we know we did this right? I think we have to follow the model our denomination set out for us. When the United Church of Christ was born in 1957, it was the joining together of 5 diverse smaller denominations into one. How did that happen? The different denominations filled with different people came together around and created a covenant together based on this one central idea; Christ is the head of the church! The love of Christ for his people unifies all of us more than our ideas or anything we might have in common.
So we, you and I, have formed a covenant, what I like to call a covenant blessed by salt (please see my candidacy sermon for a reminder of salt covenants) and our first task together is to take the time to really get to know each other. I would like to start by inviting anyone who wants to grab a cup of coffee after worship on October 15 & 22 into conversation. I would like to hear how you see God working in the congregation. I would like you to ask me questions about ministry, and I want to hear what it is you, as an individual, need from a pastor. I would like to share how our relationship can be built and nurtured in both directions. So if you have time to sit and be a part of that conversation, make a note in your calendar.
I would also like to start this relationship by asking your forgiveness. As I am writing this piece, I am reminded that our Jewish and Samaritan brothers and sisters are in the midst of one of their holiest celebrations, Yom Kippur. This is a time where Jews focus on prayers of atonement and on asking forgiveness for any hurt or sin committed whether on purpose or by accident. During Yom Kippur, my Jewish friends often send me emails or notes asking me to forgive them for any possible upset. I want to learn from their beautiful tradition and seek your forgiveness now. By merely entering the door, I am going to bring change into your midst. Even though I will work very hard to not disrupt your lives, I won’t be able to help it a little. I am unknown to you and you to me. I will accidentally do something or do something I think is normal and it will be foreign to you. It happens in all new relationships. Having spent the last 8 years in transitional ministry I know all about change and the disruption it can cause. So for anything I do, on purpose or by accident, please forgive me and come talk to me about change.
While change can be disruptive and unsettling, such as saying goodbye to Rev. Becky, it can also be the birth of something new. Psychologist Dr. Brene` Brown writes, that change makes us vulnerable and being vulnerable is not a situation many of us seek out. But her research and teaching also have her saying that vulnerability is the “birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” If you take disciples of Jesus Christ with the courage to come together around his putting his teaching into practice, we can be partners together with Christ in honoring the past, upholding tradition, and imagining and creating innovation, creativity, and change. I am looking forward to the adventure.
Sundays, October 15 & 22 – Come and Share with the Pastor
Join Rev. Yvette for a time of sharing what you need from a pastor, where you have seen God working in your community and any calls you feel we are called to hear. Come and share information, ask questions or just listen.
Rev. Yvette begins with office hours Monday, October 2.
She normally works Monday-Thursday and takes Friday for sabbath. The first week in the office, she will be unpacking her many books and learning computer passwords, lock codes, and where to get coffee in Burlington. Feel free to stop by and say hello.