Still In Transition, and It’s OK.

After about 7 or so weeks I felt I needed a reminder, and maybe you find yourself needing one, too. I needed to remember that churches that welcomed new pastors in July, such as Hillsboro UMC, take at least 6 months to a year to complete this transition. There are new personalities for both the pastor, and the congregation, to learn.  There are new ways of doing things that may be different for both the pastor and the congregation.  However, as United Methodists, we embrace the gifts that come with change… gifts that a new pastor brings that address the church needs in this particular time.  Gifts that a congregation brings to a pastor and his/her family’s journey.  Especially after a long-term pastorate, it can take 6-12 months for a congregation and pastor to journey together, trust each other, and hopefully find ourselves in deeper relationship with one another and with Christ. Living through a transition from a long term appointment brings a need for extra patience and grace from everyone.

So, I wanted to paste part of an article below from United Methodist Communications. Its a good reminder for me and allows me to give myself some grace because I tend to beat myself up over mistakes, which are inevitable. Also, I hope it will allow you assurance that anything that currently feels awkward is pretty natural and it will pass over the course of the first year.

I am well aware that I have not had time to give my undivided attention to people on an individual basis yet. That will happen more and more as the fall begins. I appreciate your patience.

I will be having another Meet and Greet in the sanctuary on Wednesday, Sept 6, from 5pm-6pm. Come ask questions. Get to know me more and allow me some time with you that is set aside and free of distractions. I will talk about things I am working on and things I have discovered. There will be a signup at the Lobby Desk.

Enjoy the article below taken from a larger article at http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/were-getting-a-new-pastor-what-can-i-do

We’re getting a new pastor! What can I do?

Take initiative. Attend a meet-and-greet, join the pastor’s Bible study, or invite her/him to coffee. “Make the effort to get to know the pastor,” Kaylor recommends, “because he or she is not going to have time to invest in every single parishioner—particularly in a large church—in the way that they would like to. So take the initiative to go be with the pastor… That’s really, really critical.”

Resist quick judgements. Stressed, tired, nervous, uncertain, worried—your new pastor is feeling all of this and more. Look “beyond first impressions because sometimes that first impression can be difficult,” Kaylor cautions. “Extending grace…is absolutely critical, and saying we’re going to give this time and we’re going to really invest in getting to know this pastor and so learn how we can be in ministry together.”

Expect the best. Things are changing. This is a new season in ministry. “Ask yourself as a congregation member,” Kaylor suggests, “What gifts do I have that I can invest in the success of this new season of ministry?”

That is always the goal. We strive for the success of our ministry together as pastor and congregation, so that, as our ritual for welcoming new members concludes, “in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”