First of all I want to thank everyone that helped organize, opened their homes, and gave of their time. This allowed me to meet with eighty or so people in order to listen and ask questions about Hillsboro and Hillsboro UMC. It was a huge blessing for me and Molly. And the food was wonderful.
One of the questions that I was consistently asked was: “What has my impressions been so far?” and “What kinds of things am I observing?” I think this blog by Dan Reiland does a good job of explaining some of the issues that I have been trying to discern.
While the listening sessions are mostly complete, evaluation should never stop and there should be an anticipation that some change will always be taking place. It is more about managing the process of change and the loss that change brings, than the actual change.
I will try my best to set a realistic pace and base decisions on relevant data, industry trends as well as my understanding of this congregation and community. Yet I know that no matter how careful I am, change will have an impact that excites some people, while for some it may mean a lose of how things are currently being done. I will constantly be asking about what is best for the church and those that do not have a church home. If the feedback is centered on self, I will empathize while hoping to broaden our perspectives to the well being of the “other.”
I remain very much in the listening stage, even though the initial group meetings are coming to an end. Read through Dan’s blog and see how you may answer his questions.
I am looking forward to our ministry together and I ask for prayers, patience and understanding. I intend to be around for many years and I hope you will be too.