PASTOR POST 08-25-21

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah  

– Psalm 46:1-3
Did you notice that little word Selah, at the end of these verses? Selah is a word we find over 74 times in the First Testament, and 71 of those are in Psalms. Some Bible translations replace it with a word of praise. Most Bible scholars today believe it to be a musical direction, meaning pause or silence, as many of the psalms were intended to be sung. Interestingly, in the first translation of the Hebrew scripture into the Greek language, which is known as the Septuagint, Selah is translated as “intermission.”

The coronavirus has brought its own kind of intermission, disrupting our normal routines and making us re-think the way we do things, for the safety and well-being of not only ourselves but of others, as well. And perhaps we need a spiritual intermission, too. A time to just stop for a moment and be reminded that whatever the future holds, God is with us. And for that we can be grateful.

As a congregation, we also need to put a pause on our thinking that “everything is going to go back to the way it was.” Before we call a new minister, it would be best for us to:

  • Reflect on all of our practices and re-think how we do things beyond what affects physical safety.
  • Ask ourselves, “What changes do we need to make for the long-term well-being of this congregation and its ministry to both those in the congregation and those beyond it?”
  • Be listening for how God is calling us to live into our stated mission of Sharing Christ with our community through service and relationships – TODAY and in the future, not in the past, and not necessarily “how we have always done it.”

In my first sermon with you, I mentioned that this time of change, between your settled pastors, is also a time of transition. (Remember, the transition is how we respond to change.) We are not the congregation we once were. And doing something simply because “that’s the way we have always done it” may often not be the best stewardship of our time and resources, nor may it be best practices for a healthy church. This can certainly be a hard thing to accept and to adjust our expectations around. As one who has undergone MUCH change and transition in the last 10 years, I empathize with all you who find it difficult!

I encourage each of you to take time for Selah every day. Time to just stop, shut out the world, and meditate on the faithfulness and goodness of God for a few moments. And time to remember all the things for which you have to be grateful, as you rest in the knowledge that God is with you! God is with us as a congregation in this time of change and transition, as well.

– Shalom, Rev Pamela