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Pastor's Monthly Newsletter Message

February 2009

Dear Friends,
If memory serves me correctly, it was Carl Jung who intimated that in conversation with others it is essential to listen not only to what another person is saying but also to what he or she is not saying, that is, to the silences or the critical intervals between words and phrases. It occurs to me that the intervals—such as thirds or fifths—between musical notes actually determine in part the character of the subsequent notes. Canadian and British theatre use the appellation interval for what we term intermission; and it is in the theatrical interval where extensive evaluative discussion transpires among members of the audience regarding the first act of the drama.
One of the crucial intervals in the church occurs between the departure of one installed pastor and the arrival of another installed pastor. As you know so well, our term for this is the interim. It’s just as critical as the intervals between words and phrases, or between successive musical notes, or between acts of a play, for this is the time for us to listen to the silences as well as the words, for us to understand the character of the rhythm and theme-line of the congregation, and for us to engage in an extensive discussion of the progression of our own unique drama as a church.
To speak unequivocally, in this particular interval it is essential for: 1) the congregation to achieve Appropriate Goals for the Interim Period and 2) the congregation to engage in Five Developmental Tasks, that is, five tasks that are imperative to accomplish at this stage in our ecclesiastical development.

Appropriate Goals for the Interim Period
To maintain the vitality of the church
To resolve feelings of grief
To reinforce the ministry of the laity
To clarify the mission of the church
To deal with special needs of the church
To emphasize fellowship and reconciliation
To strengthen denominational ties
To increase the potential for a successful ministry by the next installed pastor

Five Developmental Tasks
1. Coming to Terms with History
2. Facilitating Shifts in Power and Leadership
3. Seeking a New Identity
4. Rethinking Denominational Linkages
5. Committing to New Leadership and the Future

As Moderator of the Session, I have appointed an eight-member Think Tank Task Force—comprised by four members of Session and four At-large Members from the congregation—to deal with the question: In light of the above goals and developmental tasks, what must happen at Bower Hill Community Church during the next nine months to prepare ourselves for new leadership? Even as Dickens once claimed, Nature gives to every time and season beauties of its own, it is certainly true for us that God gives a particular beauty to this time of the crucial interval and a specific opportunity to this season of an unfolding interim.

Yours truly for a Season of Opportunity,
Calvin C. Wilson, Interim Pastor