Update: Posted November 20, 2018
“The first duty of love is to listen,” so the great 20th century theologian Paul Tillich reminded us. In my last newsletter article about the transition process here at Easter I drew your attention to the fact that Jesus always stops, looks, and listens to the people who are trying to get his attention. Before responding, even Jesus first takes great care both to truly see and listen to the people.
A question I left you with last month was, “What if we took our cue from Jesus? What if we did some intentional work together to listen to God, to each other, to our neighbors?
A portion of the work a transition team does involves developing ways for congregation members to give input as we seek to reflect upon where Easter Lutheran Church has been, where we are now, and where God may be leading us. With the help of an organizational study group called Front Porch, a group of Easter members will be trained to do interviews. In the coming two months those trained will interview fellow members as well as a number of people from the community surrounding Easter and will seek to listen carefully to what you have to say and to what God may be saying through you.
If you are contacted and invited to do an interview with one of these listeners, please say YES! Your voice is incredibly important as we seek to lean into the future God has prepared for us, Ears First! – Pastor Lamont
Update: Posted October 26, 2018
Ever noticed how much time you spend “on the way” somewhere? Could be you are just on the way downstairs to get coffee. Maybe you are on your way to work, school, practice, an appointment, an interview, or another meeting. Whatever the destination, much of your life is spent “on the way.”
The thing is once we get those destinations in mind, we don’t like to be interrupted. Our main goal becomes getting to our destination. Any interruptions along the way are seen as, well, interruptions, and are, to say the least, annoying! Well, what if there is another way of thinking about those interruptions?
Being “on the way” is not just something that defines your life or mine. Take a close look at any of the Gospels and pay attention to the stories of Jesus’ miracles. When do those miracles take place?
Usually we are told Jesus is “on the way” or “on the road” and then someone interrupts him! What Jesus does along the way is what we all need to learn to do more often. Jesus stops, looks, listens and then responds to the people who have been trying to get his attention. The result is miraculous!
What if instead of being annoyed by interruptions and getting frustrated, we stopped, took a deep breath, and paid attention to where we are along the way and what we are spending so much of our time doing? Chances are there may be some miracles waiting for us along the way.
The faith community at Easter Lutheran Church has been busily moving “along the way.” Pastors, programs, members all seeking to move along, to keep growing in faith and carry on the work of Jesus. Now, suddenly, or slowly over the past year, interruptions have entered into your journey.
What do you do about that? Work harder, keep smiling, just keep repeating, everything is fine, we are on the way and we will get to our destination?
What if we took our cue from Jesus? What if we stopped simply pushing along the way and took time to take a deep breath? What if we did some intentional work together to listen to God, to each other, to our neighbors in the community? What if we took an in-depth look around to see where we are and consider more deeply what we are doing and why? What miracles may lie ahead for us!?
This is the work of the Transition Task Force. The Vision Board officially approved its formation on
October 23 and recruitment of members began immediately after that.
Why not consider being part of this exciting and rewarding work? Contact Pastor Lamont at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Update: Posted September 26, 2018
I am sure that questions are bubbling up in conversations among members throughout the congregation. The interim pastor arrived six weeks ago. What’s happening? Do we have a call committee working? How soon will we have a new lead pastor?
Fair questions. Easter is in a time of “intentional interim.”
What that means is that change is not simply happening to and around us. In fact, we choose to enter this time to do some self-study, re-assessment of vision, and planning before we enter into the search for a new lead pastor. The goal of all this is to prepare us to make the best decision possible in selecting the pastor who will join our community of faith and help lead us into the future God has in store for us.
You will be receiving monthly updates on our work and progress for the next two months. After that, you can expect to receive updates every two weeks. The broad outline of the intentional interim process is as follows. The dates indicated are general but will be the guideline.
- Intentional Interim joins the system, listening, observing, participating – (August/September)
- Recruitment begins for Transition Task Force (10-12 people), three teams; Mission/Vision, Self-Study, and Staffing. More on this in the next two weeks. (October)
- Orientation/Planning – (November)
- Information Gathering: Easter’s Identity, Context, Mission, Resources, Planning Processes, Implications for Staffing, Facility & Space needs. – (November – March)
- Compiling information from interviews, small groups, etc. and completion of Easter’s Ministry Site Profile, a snapshot of who you have been, who you are now and where you believe God is calling you. – (April – May)
- Call Committee likely selected, two of whom will be members of the Transition Task Force. – (April -May)
- Final Report to the Vision Board – (May)
- Congregational Town Hall meeting to share and review the Ministry Site Profile with the congregation – (May)
- Call Committee starts working – (May/June)
- More information about the intentional interim process will be available in multiple formats starting October 2018
Your partner in God’s mission through Easter,
Pastor Lamont Koerner