Looking back over the past 15 months it would be fair to say that change has been a constant theme. Whether it has been related to COVID19-related changes or the broader world, change is the reality we live with today. But change can mean many things to many people. Depending on the situation, it can be a time of worry or a time of hope. Having worked in a corporate setting for over 25 years I’ve seen how change can impact individuals in different ways. I’ve watched a department reorganization eliminate jobs and one person will be devastated while another will view it as the catalyst to make the changes that would have otherwise never been undertaken. In fact, the latter has more often been the case. This brings me to my message to the congregation.
With Pastor Ted’s recent announcement about his decision to leave Zion, we have a new element of change in our world. The question is how we will deal with this change. For Pastor Ted, it is an opportunity to enter a new part of his life with his family. For the congregation, it is a catalyst to look to the next phase of Zion’s role in the lives of the members of Zion and in the Buffalo community. What we do with this opportunity is up to us.
Understanding that this is the beginning of a new journey I want the congregation to know that at the time that I am writing this article the local synod office is already searching for an interim pastor candidate for our church. I am confident that the synod will be able to provide our church with spiritual leadership in the interim while we begin the search for a new long-term spiritual leader to fill the role of Pastor Ted.
We have a current Call Committee tasked with searching for a Pastor of Congregational Life and a Search Committee overseeing the search for a Youth Director. Given these committees’ current work, it is necessary for the Church Council to determine the next steps in order to prioritize the needs of the church and fill Pastor Ted’s role as quickly as is appropriate.
Much like our Sanctuary renewal project, we will move forward with a vision for the future of Zion. It may be a different vision than it was 15 months ago, but it will be our vision. as a congregation with a goal to continue to do the ministries of Zion in our community and in all of God’s community around the world.