In the Meantime,
Back north, where I lived for all but four years before coming to Arizona, we know the ways of ice and snow. For example, it is not the cold but the thaw that is dangerous. As ice and snow melt, they move. What was solid a week ago is now liquid. Frigid water then carries blocks of ice with it, creating dams which in turn create floods.
We are beginning to thaw as a nation. The pandemic is changing as vaccinations increase and variants flourish. A new Administration and Congress are changing things as well. And at VUU we are beginning to think of when to resume in person activity, how that will happen, if it will be the same or different. Add in the search process and things that were frozen by circumstances are now beginning to melt and shift.
My job is to help you negotiate these slippery times. If the paths through the snow are now awash in slush, I help find and create new paths. One way to do that is to vary the patterns in place, tweak the familiar. Not because you are wrong and I am right, but because we only notice the possible when we are forced to look beyond the familiar. Let me give a few examples.
I have made slight changes to our Sunday Order of Worship. You may have seen extra slides telling you what is happening, and you may have noticed that a printed Order of Worship is not being posted. And I have heard both appreciation and criticism. This is exactly what should happen. When I change something it is to notice the response. That response is valuable information about what matters to whom. Remember the silly business book “Who Moved My Cheese?” That’s standard interim strategy. These tinkerings create new paths of thought, so you are not limited to the one that is now full of water and slush.
In the end, it is your choice of course. Nothing I do as interim minister is intended to be lasting. It is, however, intended to make you notice the habits and assumptions institutions always have (the cheese) by moving them. Your reactions, personal and communal, are what I intend, for this is the stuff that tells you about yourself. And the more of this you do, the better you will know who you are. And the better you know yourself the better you will be at choosing the sort of spiritual leader you need. And that I definitely intend to be lasting.