Recently, in light of the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on the world and our church, the Parish Committee, in conversation with the Transition Team chairs, voted to extend FPL’s Interim Period to a fourth year. The plan now is to name a Search Committee in the Spring of 2021 rather than next month, with the goal of calling a new minister in the spring of 2022.
We are blessed and thankful that Reverend Jenny Rankin has agreed to continue to walk by our side for this extended journey. Additionally, all seven members of the Transition Team (who originally committed to a two-year assignment) have also enthusiastically extended their commitment to a fourth year.
Two months ago we were on track and ready to move to the Search process, but now we have more time. How fast things can change!! How should we best use this new found time? One thing is for sure. We will not be hitting the “Pause” button; way too much has changed.
The Rev. Dr. David Cleaver-Bartholomew, of the Southern New England UCC, advises, “We cannot go back to the way things were, and this includes our pre-coronavirus way of doing, being, and thinking about church.” He urges churches to consider, “How must the church change for a new normal?”, with a secondary question being: “How can we best use this interim time to prepare our church for that new normal?”
This, First Parish friends and family, is what the Transition Team will be helping us all explore in the coming months.
R.L. Smith and Gina Halsted for the Transition Team