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Pastor's Monthly Newsletter Message

November 2008

Marking Time


     As I was thinking about what I wanted to write for the newsletter this month, I was taken back, way, way back, to my days in the Bernard's High School marching band.  I remember during my first summer of Band camp, the very first lesson we learned was about marking time.  Marking time, is essential marching in place.  While it may seem pointless, marking time plays an important role in marching.  When you are marking time, you are preparing for the next move, the next direction that you are supposed to go.  We spent hours practicing marking time in band practice, as it is essential to every change each marching band member makes.  As a part of the whole band, each member needs to know when it is time to move and when it is time to mark time or march in place.

     Looking back on the past two months, marking time seems to be an appropriate way of describing what we at Bower Hill have been experiencing.  We have been continuing to mark time with only a part time pastor and a part time staff.  The extreme generosity of the staff and their willingness to step up and take on extra areas of responsibility has allowed the church to keep doing the important things that needed to be done.  The critical work of the church has continued through staff, session and volunteer efforts, but I am sure you are aware that there are many things that have been put on hold during this waiting period.  We have most definitely been marking time, preparing for what is next.

     It is with a great sense of joy and relief that I, and I would imagine, the office staff and session prepare for the arrival of the Rev. Cal Wilson as our Interim on October 29th.  With his arrival, we will begin a new chapter at Bower Hill.  Even though our time of transitioning will continue during his Interim ministry here, this chapter can be more than one of marking time.  It will be up to each of us whether we choose to march in place or whether we choose to engage in keeping the mission and ministry at Bower Hill moving forward.

      In just a few days, we will enter into stewardship season, and the leadership of the church will set aside time to envision the immediate future at Bower Hill.  Much of that future will be determined by the pledges that will be made during the stewardship campaign.  It will take the efforts of the whole congregation, offering their gifts of time talent and treasure to move this church from a state of marking time to moving toward the new future.  Much of that future had begun to take shape, with the work of the Mission Action Teams.  We have been marking time, but it is time to embrace what is next for Bower Hill.  Now is not the time to cut back or hold back in sharing our gifts.  Now is the time to thank God for how God has led us in the past and to act with confidence, trusting that God will lead us into the future.   May each of us give prayerful thought to how we can help move the church from a time of marking time to what is next.

Rev. Laurie