- Published on 22 August 2012
A Word from the Minister Rev. Mark Hayes
As I enter my final year as your minister, I am mindful of the importance of an intentional and deliberate process of addressing the issues surrounding a transition in ministry. You will occasionally be hearing my take on those issues through the year. Meanwhile, your Board is taking an active role in the process (as good leaders should) by reading and discussing together portions of a book called Temporary Shepherds: A Congregational Handbook for Interim Ministry.
I would like to share with all of you some excerpts from the Introduction to that book to set the tone for the conversations and work to come:
“There is nothing so disconcerting for a congregation as a change of pastors. Whatever the circumstances, the departure of a spiritual leader always brings dismay to a faith community, stirring a mixture of strong feelings and presenting a time of anxious uncertainty and even a sense of confusion. . .
“When a change of pastors occurs, a unique opportunity is at hand for the congregation. . . [Church expert] Loren Mead calls this opportunity ‘a critical moment of ministry.’ . . . When a change of pastors occurs, a congregation needs time to adjust. . . a chance to get perspective on a relationship that has ended. Emotional adjustments do not respect timetables. . . At the same time, however, there is basic work to be done to get ready for a new leader . . . As the congregation begins to take stock of itself, to assess its strengths and weaknesses, and to refocus its sense of identity and mission, new understanding of the past emerges, along with an increasing readiness to move forward in new ways with a new leader.”
And the conversation will continue. . .
Yours in shared hopes for a positive future,