Pastor’s Letter – July/August 2023

Almost a month has passed since Pastor Nancy’s last Sunday as our Senior Pastor. Coming into the office the next day following her departure was a bit disquieting knowing I was now functioning more as a solo pastor than as a pastoral-team member. That was heightened when I realized I was not receiving regular emails from her regarding congregational needs she would ask me to send out to the church family for prayer support (she did manage to sneak a few through!).

Alongside Nancy’s departure this past month, and in contrast to that loss, was also the realization of a new gain–the completion of our current Phase 2 construction project of a new kitchen, expanded fellowship hall, two new offices, and a new storage area. As I’m writing this article, workers are busy doing the final construction clean-up and touch-ups which will clearly indicate Project Complete! I’m not sure if I should cry or shout Hallelujah! I probably need to do both.

I recently came upon an article I wrote for our newsletter several years ago from which I am sharing a few of its thoughts that seem timely right now.

Change. What a disquieting word. I hate to admit this but the older I become the less excited I feel about its implications. But like death and taxes, it is inevitable. And recently I was reminded of that again.

At the end of February, I participated in a 2- day workshop on the topic, “Coaching for Change.” The eighteen registrants were presented with information concerning the nature of change along with skill-building exercises intended to help us coach others through what was identified as the three phases of the change process–change, transition, and transformation.

I didn’t fully know what to expect at the beginning of the first session. I had a suspicion that this subject would have a very timely and personal impact that would exceed my initial reasons for taking this course. That suspicion was heightened with the following quote that greeted us on the title page of the course material.

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” – M. Scott Peck

I concluded that newsletter article with this statement–Change is a challenge, but it sure beats the alternative!

Right now, SCF is experiencing the second phase of the change process mentioned above–transition. It can be an unsettling time, but I believe God has provided us with positive means which will help us move through it.

For example, though not yet having an interim pastor, we do have familiar faces leading our weekly worship services this summer which will provide continuity from the past as we move towards the future. Further, we have a great Transition/Call Committee, under Jenny Long’s leadership, that is diligently pursing the eventual goal of helping us to recognize God’s leading in our pursuit of our next senior pastor. And then there is you. . . yes, YOU.

With the realized completion of our Phase 2 construction project, we now have full usage of our new home. This will allow us to consider possibilities of new ministry growth and outreach that we could only dream of in the past. We don’t need to wait until a new senior pastor arrives to begin thinking about reactivating and even beginning new ministry options.

As the summer unfolds and we move towards the fall, give some prayerful thought about how and where you might want to be part of the expanding worship and outreach of SCF. Though October is our normal Stewardship month, don’t wait until then to decide where you can be part of that last phase of SCF’s new change–transformation. Thanks for your constant support and contribution. A new chapter is before us. Let’s write it well!