Joan, our dearly retired former pastor, regularly brought a list of pastoral concerns to our monthly Elders meeting. We would then pray, discuss the needs of our community, and often make arrangements for visits, note-card writing, and outreach. Now we’ve entered “the year after Joan retired” we have no pastor to shepherd our little community. At the same time, we in the Elders have been spending most of our energy arranging and planning worship; this is a new responsibility for our group and, as with most new things, it has not been altogether simple and easy.
It’s also true that when the Search Committee finds someone to serve as our interim pastor, that person will only serve part time. He or she won’t be able to support everyone’s pastoral needs as Joan did, and we shouldn’t expect that.
Now is the time for our community to start watching out for one another a little more than we used to. If you think someone may need support that you aren’t in a position to offer (for whatever reason), let an Elder know. If members of our congregation are in conflict and need some help that you can’t offer, let an Elder know. If you need some support, or have concerns about our congregation, and aren’t sure who to talk to, let an Elder know.
[ed: The Elders are Thomasa McCown, chair, Sandy Renner, Noel Montgomery, Chad Blanchard, Lawrie and Madison Williams, Kelley Wiley Lane and Barbara Vail.]