It’s been a cold week but the signs are all around us. Purple crocuses, peepers, green shoots poking up in the garden. The wheel of the year is turning and spring will soon be upon us! I know many of you are eagerly awaiting the return of light and warmth after the winter, especially another winter impacted by Covid.
By the time you read this, the Search Committee will have announced the candidate they are bringing forward for your consideration. How exciting! As your Lenten Booklet says, it’s been a “long time in coming.” You have worked hard as a community to get to this day.
It’s been a long road since Manish’ departure—honest conversations and self-assessment, healing, learnings—and all that as Covid came along. You have shown up for each other, for me and the staff and I am extraordinarily grateful. You have engaged in what was needed to do to get ready to call a new minister.
The next few weeks will be exciting and maybe a bit nerve-wracking. I’m sure there will be plenty of “googling” to learn more about the candidate! And then all the preparations to make for Candidating Week (May 8-15) which culminates in a congregational vote on May 15. In our free religious tradition, it is you—the congregation—that call a minister. Not a bishop, not even the search committee!
After that will come the task of letting go, me of you, you of me. Saying goodbye is not easy. It’s the part of my work as an interim minister that is the hardest to be sure. There will be time to honor and celebrate the connection we’ve had and what we’ve been able to accomplish together; there will a way to name our grief while also holding at the same time, the great joy and excitement at the beginning of these new chapters, both for you and for me.
So let’s live fully into all that the next several months will bring.