Monday, December 10, 2012

Transition

Last week, my internship church learned that our solo pastor has been called to a new position.

She will become the Director of Evangelical Mission for the Minneapolis area, and she will be amazing at it, and it will be deeply fulfilling for her.  But there is grief.  And I am grieving, too, for a community that will have to face a hard transition, and for the people who lose a beloved pastor.  And in full honesty, I'm grieving for myself -- for losing what has been an essentially perfect supervisor-intern relationship.

Today we learned -- on the Monday of our finals week -- that our seminary president has resigned.

This comes on the heels of, just this semester:  shutting down the textbook section of our campus bookstore, closing a major on-campus dorm due to unlivable conditions, our Dean of Students (who I love) leaving, our beloved professor of church music leaving, the Master of Sacred Music program going to temporary hold for review, the Augsburg Fortress portion of the bookstore closing, our VP of Finances abruptly leaving, and the interim Chief Financial Officer announcing that we are projected to lose $1.5-$2.5 million in this fiscal year.

It has not been an easy semester on the campus of Luther Seminary, and it has not been an easy week for my church.  And in full honesty, it has not been an easy day for me.

But papers are due anyway, and for one class I had to reflect on some readings, offer a critique, and then state a reconstruction or resolution to the critique.

I concluded:

In this moment I have no choice but to depend entirely upon the mission of God. I have been taught that God makes promises, and keeps them. I have been taught, and have repeated, that God does not forget us. I have been taught and have repeated and believed, because my life has no meaning without it, that God is at work in us for greater things than what we imagine. 
It is to this teaching that I must turn, at the end of a long semester, and it is in this promise that I must hope. It is appropriate to leave it here, unresolved, as we wait in Advent and turn our faces to the promise of an incarnate God come to carry out a mission of mercy and compassion. There is nowhere else to leave the broken world but at the side of the manger.

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