by Heidi Regier Kreider, WDC Conference Minister
Last weekend, my family traveled to Goshen (IN) College to attend our youngest son’s graduation. It was a full weekend of celebration and ceremony, story-telling and community building, and commencement of a new chapter of life for the graduates. Perhaps your congregation or family is also celebrating with students as they mark the endings and new beginnings that come with graduation.
At this time of year I am keenly aware of many other transitions also taking place:
Recently WDC recognized the retirement of Business Manager Phyllis Regier, who had served for 22 years with WDC, and welcomed Beth Yoder as the new Business Manager. We are grateful for the gifts and skills of both of these staff persons!
Currently a number of WDC congregations are experiencing pastoral transition as pastors have announced plans to retire, resign or accept a call to a new pastoral position. WDC conference ministers are working with congregational leaders to discern next steps such as planning for farewell programs and exit interviews, appointing an interim or transitional pastor to guide the congregation in the process of transition, anticipating a pastoral search process in the future, or planning for the installation of a new pastor.
And, several staff transitions are underway in our denomination. Today is Glen Guyton’s first day as Executive Director of Mennonite Church USA, and other new denominational staff have also been appointed. For more information, see news articles at http://mennoniteusa.org/news/staff-transitions-for-mennonite-church-usa/ and http://mennoniteusa.org/news/executive-board-staff-transitions-sue-park-hur-begins-as-denominational-minister/
In times of transitions, we are called to both look back and to look forward: We look back to give thanks for God’s faithfulness in the past, to share stories of where we have come from, to grieve losses, and to celebrate accomplishments. We look forward to anticipate and plan for the future, to commission and bless people for new stages of the journey, and to pray for God’s guidance as we move forward.
In the midst of transitions, we are also called to trust God’s presence with us, right here and right now. As you face transitions in your congregation, community, family or personal life, may the God of the past, present and future be with you.