Joseph Campbell once wrote: “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
I realize that my announcement that I am leaving my ministry with you comes as a shock. Many of you had told me that you expected me to stay with you until my retirement. As the shock wears off and we ponder the journey we have been on together these eight years, I hope you will consider Campbell’s wisdom. You have come so far; you have survived a pandemic, staff changes, deaths of loved ones, and a controversy or two, and you have come out so much stronger as a community together.
I leave my ministry with you incomplete. And yet, this is the way of life isn’t it? We are all incomplete. That’s the nature of change and growth; to let go of what you thought was going to happen and lean into what is waiting for you to become.
There is in all life a natural tension, a resistance, between what is and what could be. Part of what I am feeling, and perhaps some of you as well, is that resistance. We have traveled the road to Jerusalem surrounded by that healthy resistance. Along the way we have had to say good bye to beloved friends, and we have had to become the congregation I see before me now. Eager and soulful, sometime defiant and always hopeful even when our direction didn’t seem right to all of us. But you stayed. That is really important my beloved friends. You stayed. You stayed with the persistent resistance and you are helping to create a new future. My work with you is drawing to a close but your work together continues. I believe in you, I have always believed in you, despite our stumbles, and because of our sweet victories. Together.
Change is the only constant. And we are changing now. I hope we will have time to collectively celebrate what we did together before I leave you in June. Until then, my door remains open.
Yours, Rev. John