February 2021 Tidings

Pastor’s Ponderings

Dear Members and Friends of Mt. Carmel,

In a fast-changing world, the one thing that remains constant is change itself! If your neighborhood is changing as quickly as mine is, I can only guess how the community around Mt. Carmel is changing. This time of year, the weather changes constantly. Our presidential administration is quickly making changes which affect us all. Closer to home, the pandemic, that has been with us for almost a year, seems to stretch on and on.

It is important to note that along with change, comes loss. And with loss, comes grief. Scripture is not a stranger to loss and grief. Through Scripture we know that God is always with us. Scripture responds to what we are going through by giving voice to where we are in the moment, especially through the Psalms, which are full of laments. Laments help keep the conversation open with God. They are a way to keep talking when we would prefer to draw away from God in doubt, or anger, or even fear. Laments are perfect during change because they are not examples of the way things are supposed to be, rather, they are a description of the way things are!

Transition time in the church also means change. One reason, we refrain from calling a new pastor right away, is that we need to live through the grief and loss of the past. The next reason is to have time to do a self-study. In the next months, I will be meeting with numerous members and friends of this faith community, by either Zoom or phone, to listen to your story, and hear about your experience with this congregation. It has been obvious to me from the very beginning, that there are a lot of people who care very deeply about this church.

Also, during this time, I, along with the leaders of Mt. Carmel, will be in the process of putting together a Transition Task Force. The work of this team is to focus on five areas of ministry: Heritage, Leadership, Mission, Connections and finally, begin the call process. Through this whole year, we hope to discern where God is calling this congregation into the future. We also hope that from this transition work, you will be better able to discern what kind of leader best fits your congregation’s needs.

It is my prayer that we can all recognize that through this transition time, God will be with you, calling you, urging you and most likely challenging you to move forward with trust and grace, knowing that in the end, new life for this congregation is your promise. I have a lot of confidence in what God will do in this journey together! 

You are in my prayers, please keep me in yours!

Pr. Christine