Dear Members and Friends,
During this season of fall colors, we are reminded that change is a part of the cycle of life. Dealing with change is never easy. When I arrived less than two and a half months ago, I said, “I won’t make any changes for several months unless I am obliged to do so.” Because you have dealt with so much change and internal challenges, the last thing I’ve wanted for you is an increase in collective anxiety until you’ve become acquainted with me enough to trust me.
However, change has been upon this congregation, upon this community. There are two distinct changes on the near horizon that I want to make sure you’re aware of:
1) The leadership of the Family Faith Formation program. I’m delighted to share that our new Acting Lead for Faith Formation will be announced at this Sunday’s service, October 29. Our new leader, a current teacher and member of the congregation, will begin on November 1. Both I and the Faith Formation Advisory Team are thrilled with the vision and experience of our new Acting Lead for Faith Formation.
2) Your beloved building—on two fronts: the Capital Campaign Construction and the installation of monitors.
This past Sunday following the service, the architect from Goody Clancy shared with the congregation the plans for the capital campaign construction work going forward. Pamela Clemson explained how the thicker glass panes will be smaller in size and how the glass “curtain” walls and sliding doors will be different. She shared various options for the floor and how a new chancel will be slightly larger with a ramp leading up to it.
You can access a recording of the meeting here and a downloadable copy of her presentation here. If you have thoughts, questions, or concerns, please be in touch with me or the capital campaign construction team at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am grateful that John Turmelle is working closely with us on this project, as will Jay Lubin and Rob Laug. If you would like to participate on this team, please let me know.
The other change to the building is the planned installation of monitors in the sanctuary. When I shared three weeks ago about this, somehow the photograph didn’t get appended to my letter with the mock-up. It has been in SOUNDINGS, here. On October 8, Rob Laug fielded members’ questions, thoughts, and concerns. Among the seventeen people who have contacted Rob and me, thirteen members are positive about the installation, three members are neutral—wary but recognizing a need, and one person pleaded that any monitors that go in be connected to metal rather than being attached to the wood as planned.
As your minister, I welcome hearing more feedback, if you have a perspective that you want to make sure is heard. The current plan is for the monitors to be installed prior to the November 5 worship service when I will participate and share with the congregation remotely. I recognize that this is a huge change in your congregational life, and I don’t want to make it lightly, especially if there is significant concern. The last thing I want to do is make a decision that causes more distress than clearing the way for more hope and healing.
This Sunday, I will gladly gather with those of you who would like to share feedback or share with me what is on your heart or mind regarding the congregation. I’d love to become acquainted with a few of you that I haven’t yet been able to sit down with!
During this season of fall colors, we are reminded that change is a part of the cycle of life. Change is never easy. Often there is much grief work to do in letting go of what or who is dear to us. With All Souls Day approaching and the deciduous trees losing their leaves, this is the season for us, too, to reflect on what each of us needs to let go.
PS: I leave you with a Shakespeare Sonnet.
No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change:
Thy pyramids built up with newer might
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
They are but dressings of a former sight.
Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire
What thou dost foist upon us that is old,
And rather make them born to our desire
Than think that we before have heard them told.
Thy registers and thee I both defy,
Not wondering at the present nor the past;
For thy records and what we see doth lie,
Made more or less by that continual haste.
This I do vow, and this shall ever be:
I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee.