Michael leaves in two weeks. He’ll be away on sabbatical until the second week in September. Bob R. is taking over the worship leadership and pastoral responsibilities. Our lay leaders and staff will cover other needs.
But Bob is only ½ time, and you might be surprised how much work and need a faith community like Old First generates! One of the hopes of our leadership is that with Michael away, Old First as a church can begin to identify all the things he does. …And what, perhaps, he should not be doing, Or what others should be doing.
So, Michael has asked Bob to be careful about his hours. Of course, in a pastoral emergency, he may have to exceed his 20 hours. But in general, it’s part of our learning to have him hold the line. Likewise, if some of you want him to do something, by his Interim Minister Agreement, we have decided that individuals or leaders or groups should approach Jonathan A., our Moderator with any such requests. Jonathan will be able to work with Bob on how and what can get done within his contracted hours. They may also ask others to step up to meet a specific need.
So, folks, it’s not only to be expected, it’s also, ironically, sort of good too if everything doesn’t get done! (And it’s summer, so church sort of slows down anyway.) But recognizing what we aren’t getting to… that’s part of a process for helping us recognize better the needs and resources we have in this community. So that we can best pair them.
So, be kind to Bob. And to the staff. And each other. And know that even if everything isn’t perfect (when ever is it?), we’ll all get through. And your Universalist pastor believes, even if something doesn’t get done around church, we’ll all get to heaven anyway.
But here is something any of you could do to help out. Michael will be gone for 15 weeks. And, presumably, we will still be sending out the E-pistle. Michael has been asked by Global Ministries to write a weekly reflection on his experience, so that will become part of our E-pistle too, and you can follow what he’s doing. But we need people to write our weekly E-pistle proper. The devotional piece that’s in text form below the links. We need Guest E-pistle-ists! Bob may want to write some weeks, and that’s great. But if he doesn’t feel the need, how lovely would it be for this community is we had a new voice reflecting on faith and life each week.
You can choose the week, the topic and when you are going to get it to Teresa. Usually, the E-pistle aims to be about 400 words. But sometimes they are longer. Once it’s shared with the church office, Teresa will add it to the website and include it in the weekly e-mailing.
It would be a great help to Bob. And what a wonderful way to hear more voices from this church, what you think and believe and struggle with and have figured out. A celebration of our religious, theological, culturals and
Please let Michael know so we can make sure we have enough writers and enough essays! You can contact him directly, tell him on Sunday, or write your willingness into the Friendship pads.
Thanks for the help strengthening this church while Michael is away making sure that his strength is restored.