Interim Ministry

In the Interim – May 1, 2020

In the fall when we chose our worship themes for the year, we decided on the theme of “thresholds” for May. Thresholds are those places between and it seemed like a promising theme for a congregation between settled ministers and on the cusp of its second of two interim years. According to dictionary.com a threshold is “the sill of a doorway,” “the entrance to a house or building,” or “any place or point of entering or beginning.” We cross thresholds every day of our lives, usually without...

In The Interim – 3/6/2020

This month we turn our attention to the theme of Abundance and Generosity. This is an opportunity to reflect on and appreciate the abundance in our own lives. This can be a real challenge for us at times, I know. After all, we live in a society, in a consumer culture, which tells us constantly that we are never enough and that we never have enough. In the words of my colleague, the Rev. Angela Herrera, “Abundance is not about having what you want, but about noticing what you have, and...

“Brigid of Kildare: Goddess or Saint?” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – February 2, 2020

This is a holy weekend. Today, many of our Christian friends are celebrating Candlemas, which commemorates the day the baby Jesus was presented by his parents to the priests in the Temple. It is also the day when the candles for the church year are traditionally blessed. Today is also Groundhog Day and Superbowl Sunday, and I imagine that some of us celebrate one or both of those. And yesterday, February 1st, our friends and neighbors from pagan and earth-centered traditions – including,...

“Envisioning Our Future” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – January 12, 2020

It’s hard to believe that we are almost a quarter of the way through this two-year interim period. I have thoroughly enjoyed beginning to get to know you, and hearing some of your stories. And I thank you for welcoming me in and sharing with me some of your concerns and some of your hopes. When people ask me what interim ministry is about, I sometimes say that it is about journeying with a congregation as, together, we look back, look around, and look ahead. This morning I invite you to look...

From the Parish Committee – 1/24/20

Slowly but surely, we are beginning to get ready to begin our Search for a settled minister.  We appreciate the wonderful attendance and discussions after the service on Jan. 12.  Wendy is interested in gathering our visions for the future of this church and for the qualities you would like to see in a minister.  If you were unable to attend this meeting, you can still e-mail your thoughts to Wendy.  This information will begin to inform our yet to be elected Search committee.  There will be...

In the Interim – January 2020

The work of a congregation during a time of interim ministry is partly to look backward to the past, partly to look around in the present, and partly to look ahead to the future. These are not necessarily linear tasks, but tasks that intermingle as we move together through these two years in preparation for your search for a new settled minister. During this month of January, we will begin looking ahead in earnest as we focus in worship on the theme of “Vision and Possibility.” On Sunday,...

From the Parish Committee – 12/27/19

The approach of a new year is a good time to reflect and to look ahead. We will be doing just that at First Parish. A small group representing Buildings and Grounds, Finance and the Parish Committee has been meeting to talk about the future of the Parsonage. This is an important asset for the church and an important part of what we can offer a new settled minister. The high cost of living in this area may make the availability of the Parsonage an attractive option for a new minister. Currently...

From the Parish Committee – November 2019

The beginning of the year is a time to re-assess and set some goals.  These goals give shape to our work and help us keep priorities in mind as we confront the issues and tasks of Governance.  This year, the Parish Committee goal is to take a wider view of our church by thinking about the systems that allow this community to work well together and to keep our property and resources well cared for.  During this interim period we will be asking whether “the way we’ve always done things” makes...

“Cleaning out our Closets” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – October 20, 2019

When I first announced a few weeks ago that I would be preaching a sermon on Marie Kondo’s book, one of you very kindly and graciously asked me if I knew that Mark had also preached on the same book this past spring. And I was very grateful to have learned of that. I, of course, soon thereafter, did a search for his sermon and was quickly reassured that he and I were approaching this topic from different angles. Not surprisingly, his was a reflection on the decluttering that was required of...

“Beginning the Journey” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – September 15, 2019

There are many kinds of journeys. People journey when they leave their homes or homelands of necessity, pushed by violence or scarcity or pulled by opportunity. People journey when they feel called to explore or discover the world around them, or to go on a pilgrimage. Some of those journeys are physical and demanding, arduous and even dangerous. Some journeys are metaphorical – still demanding – but less so physically and more so emotionally or spiritually. Like physical journeys, sometimes...

November 2020
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