Change is upon us

Pastor's Desk October 2019

Like the colorful change from summer to fall, beautiful things are happening at All Souls, and seeing them has filled my heart with constant wonder and gratitude. We are seeing new faces at services on Sunday afternoon, and we are seeing each other from new perspectives as we grow in friendship throughout the week. And then, we are also celebrating in new places with services in Thurgau and Bible Studies in members’ homes.

Truly, in this season of change we are taking on some amazing new things, but we are also losing a few things like the trees that shed their browning leaves. We are losing:

1. Old Forms Of Leadership

When All Souls began our leadership was more pastor-led, and our charter Elders were an advisory board that gave occasional input. But after becoming a recognized Church, and electing Elders from the congregation, we must move to a form of leadership that is team-based and Council-led. Therefore, our main ministries (Stewardship, Outreach, In-reach, Christian Education, and Gatherings) are now in the charge of specific Elders, and I will focus on the ministries of Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care.

2. Old Visions

During our project phase, the vision was making the idea of All Souls into a living reality. That vision has been fulfilled, and we must now embrace a new vision of growth in fellowship and membership. Though the main cause of such growth is always the Holy Spirit, there are things that we can do to help make it happen.

  • We can spend more time together beyond the Sunday services (e.g., hanging out over coffee).
  • We can care for one another beyond the Sunday services (e.g., calls during the week to see how someone is doing).
  • We can get more involved in gatherings and events beyond the Sunday services (e.g., Bible Study).
  • And, most importantly, we can personally invite others to join in our community.

To be honest, the loss of these things gives me a slight sense of fear, for it shows that we are venturing into places that we do not know. This loss also changes the ways we relate to each other as friends and fellow believers, and the ways in which we carry out our roles as Pastor, Elders, and Parishioners. Nevertheless, what we are gaining encourages us to carry on, and I look forward to all the things that lie ahead for All Souls. Of course, we will face more challenges and struggles as a community, but we will also encounter many blessings and the constant presence of our loving Lord.