Well, déjà vu. Seems I’ve been in this situation before. I was secretary when Pastor Neil bid us farewell back in 2005. As this occurred to me, I realized that I’ve been here longer than at any other job in my life. Glynis was just a young girl then and now she’s all grown up and a Mom of our wonderful little grandson. I guess we’ve all seen some changes in our lives.
Change is inevitable. Sometimes we welcome it and at other times we don’t. Whichever way you feel about our current change, it’s important to remember one thing: Pastors come and Pastors go. I learned that some time ago.
The first Pastor I really remember is Rev. Harry Keppley. He came to us as a “student pastor” since that was the way the seminaries were giving their students hands-on experience at the time. He was fresh and young; idealistic, yet grounded; and no title yet. I was in his first confirmation class. He started the Youth Group back up at Emmanuel (at least that’s the way I remember it – maybe there was one but I was too young to remember?) . I do remember that he graduated from seminary, was ordained (and got his Reverend title), married and had his children all while leading our church. It might have been seven years that he was with us – I’d have to look at the records to be sure.
Whatever memories time has blurred, there’s one that isn’t hazy. When Pastor Keppley announced that he was going to another church, I cried. This was the first time that I was really old enough to understand that the Pastor was leaving and it really hit me hard. I can imagine there are some in our congregation now who feel the same way. My advice is to remember that we are all in this together.
Yes, Pastors come and Pastors go. But our church remains. All the people who come to worship make up the church – the body of Christ at Emmanuel. It’s not just a building – it’s a gathering of believers. Paul didn’t stay in Ephesus or Collossea. He gave them the knowledge and supplied them with the conviction to become believers of Jesus Christ. Then he let them grow. And yes, they had growing pains. Which is also inevitable, unless you’re going to stagnate.
Things are not stagnating at Emmanuel, though. The Consistory is diligently working on hiring an Interim Minister.
People have volunteered to serve on the Search Committee. Our Sunday School is back in session. Teen Talk is meeting on Sunday mornings. The Kids Choir and Chancel Choir are singing again after their summer break. Our Turkey Supper will be on October 17 and the Pork and Sauerkraut Dinner is on November 14. Emmanuel will again be the starting point for the Wapwallopen Ministerium CROP Walk on October 4. We’ll be holding a Yard Sale on Saturday, October 24. Soon the children and youth will begin practicing for the Christmas Program. And the Twilighters always meet on the second Wednesday of the month (some things never change?).
So if you were wondering what we’ll be doing without a permanent Pastor, you don’t have to wonder anymore. We will continue to be Emmanuel.
Keeping the Faith,