March 21, 2023

Some people thrive on change, and there are others that are the opposite and want things to stay as familiar as possible. How do we know where each other may be on this spectrum. The only way is through deep, respectful conversations. As human beings, we can not read each other’s minds, although it would make things a lot simpler.

Last week I moved the communion rail and surprised many people. I apologize for the surprise and should have given a least a week’s warning. My reason for moving was to encourage its use. Since I have been pastor here, we have never used the rail, nor has there been a request to use it. As an older congregation, many, if not most, will find kneeling difficult, if not impossible. I moved it so now people can stand and use it for prayer and contemplation during communion or even other times. Although we will not use it every month, it will get used. I realize there may be some other issues to iron out if it stays on the upper stage, such as those who feel uncomfortable traversing the step to get to and return from the railing. Personally, I am excited to try this new layout and see how well it works.

There are some I have talked to that are ok, and even like the railing moved, there are some who have unequivocally expressed to me their dislike of the move. A majority of the people in the congregation have not come forward to talk to me, which I typically take as a sign of ambivalence or acceptance.

Currently, most of the worship team and I are in disagreement as to keep it on the upper stage or move it back to where it was. So, we have decided to put a questionnaire in the bulletin this coming Sunday to allow everyone a say. My hope is that we try to keep it in place until at least after Easter, if not longer. No matter what, I will respect and apply the congregation’s decision after Sunday.

Growth and Change are typically directly linked with each other. When we stifle one many times, we inadvertently stifle the other. God created a universe that is in a constant state of change and growth. Accepting these things is one way we can honor God’s creation and show our complete trust in God. This is one of the hardest things we can do as followers of Christ to lean into the growth and the change in our lives, trusting God’s direction for us.

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