On September 19, 2016, our former pastor, Marilyn Rudy-Froese, began a three-and-a-half month sabbatical. None of us knew it at the time, but that day marked the beginning of seven pastoral transitions in our congregation. The first pastoral transition was receiving Ron Guengerich, who worked as a substitute pastor while Marilyn was on sabbatical. When Marilyn returned from that sabbatical and Ron left, we all thought she would continue to be one of our pastors for years to come. It was not to be, because we soon realized that visa issues might force her to return to Ontario—and sure enough, within six months she was gone, marking the second pastoral transition.
In June of last year, the third pastoral transition occurred when my level of employment shifted from 85% to 50%. In August, Joanne arrived as our pastor of faith formation, marking the fourth transition; and shortly afterward Paula came as our transitional consultant, making number five. Her work here concludes on Wednesday. Meanwhile, at the beginning of this month Bob and Mag began as our interim pastors, making the sixth transition. The seventh—and hopefully last—transition will happen at some unknown point in the future when our pastoral search committee presents us with their best candidate and we vote to call her or him as a full-time pastor. All this means that so far, we’ve been in transition for a year and a third. For all any of us knows, this transitional period may end up lasting about two years.
- Matthew 28:16 - 20