These times are frustrating, right? We are in the third year of a pandemic that changes on us as we continue to defend ourselves with vaccinations and masks and distancing, etc. We have a country riven by such deep division that sometimes it seems hopeless that we could ever reconcile. Inflation is still high (just go to any gas station). The church is considered antiquated at best or immoral at worst by many. And on and on.
When contemporary life becomes too hard to handle, when I become frustrated or angry or just plain sad I realize that I need to stop and think – to meditate – to remember – that I am aligned with a God who is none of the above. She is a God of calm and peace. He is the embodiment of healing and compassion. They are a God of abundance. And no matter what anyone thinks of her, he remains the same. They are immovable.
I don’t mean any of this in the Old Testament sense. God has given us a new testament and shown his face in a new way. God IS calm and peace and healing and compassion and abundance and immovable in their love. This is not pie-in-the-sky thinking. It is and always will be the ultimate reality. I see this at church with the community we have, I sense this in communion and I experience in the world from many good people – Christian or not. I need to acknowledge these truths more in my life during the times we live in. Wait, I think I need another meditation time. See you on Sunday to celebrate the one who loves ALL of us beyond measure or understanding.
The CGS Call Committee met this week to discuss our internal responses to the Top Gifts for Ministry from the Ministry Site Profile form. This section of the form focuses on choosing five Top Priority and five Very Important gifts we would like to see in a pastor. Since we can't have everything, it has been great to have your feedback on the qualities that you consider to be the most important for our congregation's next pastor.
This site profile helps the synod match call candidates with our congregation and gives the candidates a picture of what the CGS community is like. When we have it completed and submitted, the synod will get to work supplying a slate of candidates for consideration. We hope to get a survey out to the congregation soon to help with feedback on the most important and difficult parts of the site profile.
In the meantime, please do reach out to Sarah, Adolfo, Julia, Matt, Paul, Randy (chair) with any comments, questions, or qualities you would like to see in a future pastor.
Staycation last day - a week of processing all the changes of the last months and a wondering what my canticle of turning will be? A new song? I love the tradition of the rosca (cake) with the hidden toy baby on Epiphany. The one who finds the baby holds it until Candlemas in February then makes tamales for the village. Celebration does not seem to disrespect grief. This week listening to the stories of leaders held inside the Capitol a year ago, watching fires then deep snow in Colorado, and feeling the rush of people flying to see loved ones they need to see yet still falling ill in the midst of a pandemic and watching the world stop and go and stop again, I hold on. I will hold these deep new combinations of raw emotion tenderly like the hidden baby and practice hospitality by digging deeper for the music that is the new song, because the world has turned.
Call Committee Update.
The Call Committee (Randy Presuhn, Chair, Paul Thomas, Sarah Janigian, Matt Byom, Adolfo Ramirez, and Julia Tranchina) has resumed its work after a brief holiday hiatus, returning to the questions from the Ministry Site profile designed to help us summarize the current life of our congregation to prospective candidates; and the Committee is also working on possible questions we will use in the upcoming congregational survey.
In the meantime, we continued to be pleased by how many of you have come forward to members of the Call Committee with your thoughts about what you hope to see in our next pastor. We have received your input in writing and in person, and we have found your thoughts to be helpful and insightful.
Nevertheless, the important thing is that the Call Committee continues to want your ideas, and we hope you will let us know what you think is important. You can not only tell us what you want and feel is important to have in our next pastor, but you may also tell us what you don’t want or don’t like.
Please continue to keep the Call Committee and its work in your prayers.
Happy New Year CGS!
New Years is one of my favorite holidays of the year. I usually spend part of the day meditating on all the events that happened in the year. The personal ones whether good or bad that shaped and led to be able to celebrate another passing of calendar year. Then I shift my focus to the possibility that the next year could bring my way. Hope. That’s why it’s a day I look forward to. The hope that there is a clean slate in front on me that could lead to anything that I’ve ever dreamed. This year I hope for more memories that I can create with my friends and family. And I wish and hope the same for all of you. Blessings.
Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.