I've been sitting on a secret, a happy secret, but a secret nontheless...We have found a new minister for our church. I was on the Search Committee. We've been working since January and everything is confidential, so we had this big responsiblity on behalf of our church community, and a decision that will change one family's life profoundly, and all of ours significantly, and we could only talk about it to each other, not our families, not anyone.
We did of course have ample input from the congregation about what we were supposed to look for, but we were on our own doing it. Then even after we made the decision and had it approved by the congregation in a meeting last Sunday, it was still "sshhhhhh" until our new minister told his church that he had accepted a new position. But now it is official. In June we will say goodbye to our beloved Mary Duncan, who has bridged out minister-gap for 2 years while we figured out where we are going and what we are doing. Tim Lissimore will come with his wife Natalie, young son and new baby (due in July) to help us realise our new visions and lead us in our worship beginning in August. Tim grew up in Coquitlam, so this is a homecoming for him. Some of our church members know him from when they were kids together. He and his wife are super-excited, and so are we. It's that having a baby feeling of someone is coming, we know we're going to love him. We will be important in each other's lives. It will be long-term. Yayyyy!
Another happy piece of church news. In March our congregation voted that we will have same-sex marriages performed in our church. United Church of Canada people believe that your sexuality is a gift from God to be embraced and celebrated. Still, each congregation is given the choice about whether same-sex marriages will be performed in its church. I was very anxious about this. It was interesting, at our congregational meeting to discuss the issue and vote, there was an openness about points of view that affirmed my confidence in the United Church way of doing things. Everyone was listened to with respect, including a good contingent of teen church members who were welcomed to the discussion and the vote. After the meeting, many members said that the contributions of the teens (they all spoke thoughtfully about the issue) helped them understand that this is the way to go for the future of our church and our community of youth. So many parents don't know yet what their children's sexual orientation will be. This way, no matter what, all can be married at our church, along with other members of the community who would otherwise be excluded.
Both experiences have helped me to realise what an important part my church plays in my life, as part of my base of stability. My faith is important and my church community is important. They are the same and different. They are precious beyond words.
question: how long can you hold your breath?
mompoet - big, happy, deep ones