It was so terrific to be with you for Ingathering Sunday and the two worship services that brought this community together in song, reflection and celebration on Sunday. Having heard, for so long, about the energy that is Follen, I saw it for myself and it was a joyous time. Many of you took a moment to welcome me, and I appreciate you doing that as well. In order to learn your names and more about your family, please wear your name tags – that will help and in time, I’ll get it!
I’ve also heard, from some of you, about how it “always was here” and the way things “used to be.” I’ve heard a lot of acronymns, and I can tell that some of you are feeling a bit unsettled as you begin to realize that things aren’t the way they were last year in terms of personnel who are here. And that is true: change is loved by some, hated by many, and it makes everyone stretch in different ways.
One of the things I ask you to remember is this: I don’t know what happened here before. I don’t know the acronymns, or how meetings used to run, or what you’ve always done. And while I would love to know those things – and I really would, so please make an appointment to tell me what you know or what you’ve loved – I can’t promise that I’ll do things in the same way. An interim time, in religious education as in ministry, is an opportunity for reflection, for stretching, for changing or experimenting. There are new faces here, there is history to understand, there are new connections (or reconnections to be made). Follen is not the same church it was five years ago – or even three. The RE program is much bigger; there are different needs and planning that must come for the future as well as for right now.
So know, please, that this is a time of experimentation, of conversation, of imagining what might be, of exploring all that is possible (and all that is not). Later this fall I’ll be setting up times when we can talk together about what you’ve seen, what you observe now about your children and this church and religious education, and what you wish for. For now, let’s try and hold hands and stick together, as minister/author Robert Fulghum said. That is the best way, along with milk and cookies and hugs, to live into the change and love what transitions can bring to us.
If you would like to make an appointment to come in and talk, have coffee or lunch, or a phone call, let me know. Please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church (781-862-3805, extension 204), or find me at church. I look forward to connecting with you!
Interim Director of Religious Education