From Your Presbytery Leader Checking in
Greetings in the name of our God and Savior Jesus Christ!
It has been about three weeks since I began this wonderful ministry as your presbytery leader! I am so warmed by your hospitality and your helpfulness in making sure I have everything I need to find myself situated. I am impressed by the dedication of your leadership, staff, and volunteer membership—and I hear such good things about the faithfulness of your ministries! I am fascinated and want to know more.
I see a presbytery rich with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love that is eager to MOVE and accomplish amazing things together! I see how much you have done in the last several years to transform your structure to be more responsive to the needs of the congregations, more effective in coordinating resources, and more impactful in focused ministry. I also see how much you have done for so long without a full staff complement, and how eagerly you have awaited the arrival of a new presbytery leader. What a blessed season upon us.
While I would LOVE a “Matrix”-like download of everything I need to know directly into my cerebellum so I can instantly get into the metaphorical kung-fu of this work with you, I understand the value of embracing the art of noticing with fresh eyes, learning as I go, cultivating a spiritual discipline of curiosity, and honoring the sacredness of intentional relationship-building. That means that so far, I have been working on the basic orientation priorities you would expect of a new spiritual leader: learning who is who, what is what, and where is where. This has looked like:
- learning the gifts and skills of the staff
- getting my communication systems set up and synching our calendars
- becoming accustomed to the processes you have fine-tuned that have been directing the workflow of the presbytery
- giving myself permission to ask questions
- accompanying you in your meeting spaces and getting in synch with how God has called you to mobilize as a unique presbytery
- hearing your stories and learning your passions
- (and above all) hearing your sacred stories and learning your passions (which includes connecting with you by phone, zoom, and (where safe and wise) coffee or lunch)
- I have also been completing my contributions to the final written report to the General Assembly as a member of the Special Committee on Racism Truth and Reconciliation for the PC(USA). This is work that I will be taking a break from, before picking back up again later in the spring, so I can make myself more present with becoming acquainted with Giddings-Lovejoy.
All of this is such a blessing.
As we get to know one another, I can be reached by email email@example.com or by cell phone 314-409-9002 (this contact information is also available on the website). For now, until I establish the best rhythm for my work, my common practice that I’ve learned makes me most present and effective is to be in the office Tuesdays-Thursdays, with a fully accessible, catch-up workday from home or office on Fridays. I think it’s important to model Sabbath practice, so I usually try to turn off my devices for personal Sabbath on Mondays when I can and try to commit to using most Saturdays to commit to my family, with time to visit congregations on Sundays. I value opportunities to share greetings on behalf of the presbytery, and celebrate your ministries, as well as preach, preferably with your pastor present in worship (except for emergencies and other atypical occasions). Please let me know when you have something happening in your church that I can celebrate with you!
I thank you for your patience as I settle in and find the rhythm that best expresses my finest work so I can be most present with you.
Looking forward to being in touch with you again soon!
(Next week I’ll chat about our shared challenges of seeking a rhythm in a rhythmless world!)