Preparing for Worship – Heather Mustain, associate pastor.
What a special Sunday we lived together one week ago. Maybe, like me, today you come to this place feeling many things — eager yet reserved, excited yet aching, expectant yet hesitant. The memories and traditions built in this space will live on, no matter who our next senior pastor is. We know that. But it sure doesn’t diminish the grief many of our hearts feel as we sit preparing our hearts for worship this morning, does it?
The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said “Change is the only constant in life.” And while that may be true, change stinks. There, I said it, and if you need to, you can say it too. Out loud or in the quiet chambers of your heart, admitting that change is and will be hard is our first step in moving forward together. Sometimes our language leads our experience; this is the principle behind talk therapy. If we cannot give voice to what is inside, it hinders our ability to heal. And while we have a wonderful summer slated with gifted preachers and fellowship opportunities, this is a tender time for us. Taking the time to lament is a worthy task and allows us to mend instead of misplace our grief in the future.
Today we commission another class of Stephen Ministers. This group of lay leaders has spent countless hours over the past four months learning the practical and spiritual aspects of walking alongside others when faced with life’s difficulties. They join many of you who have already been commissioned and have been serving as Stephen Ministers for years.
We are well equipped for the ministry of bearing each others’ burdens. In this time of transition, we must tenderly care for one another, recognizing that while we may fall on a spectrum in regards to our processing, we can make room for every bit of it.
There is so much joy ahead of us. Our future is ripe with opportunity. This is the human experience, though, to acknowledge and hold the tension of both/and. So as you prepare your hearts and minds for worship this morning, it’s OK to feel it all, because in the end we know God will tenderly care for each of us and all of us. May it be so, Wilshire.