I am so thankful for the Rev. Bill MacLellan and his words this morning. I'm thankful that Bill knows us from his months leading the congregation, and that he cares for us. This morning, he gave us the "Charge!" as we prepare for another step in the journey of our congregation.
We talked first about Transitions and how difficult and uncomfortable they can be. He reminded us of Moses in the desert (Exodus 33:12-23) and how we all wonder, "But God, what is your plan here??" And then Bill reminded us of who we are as a congregation, and of our core values of justice and equality. He said that our wholehearted approval of Rev. Karen Dimock coming as the new minister showed that we are a congregation that does not disregard people based on their gender. (And I must confess, I was a bit uncomfortable at the thought of our hiring a woman minister being something we should be congratulating ourselves on - shouldn't we be celebrating this next stage of the journey without regard for the gender of the person shepherding us into it? Nevertheless, I expect it will not be long as we get to know Karen as a person, for the gifts she has and is willing to share with us, rather than just as a Symbol of St. Andrew's Core Values.)
And then just like Paul to the Thessalonians, Bill exhorted us to become more of what we are as a congregation: warm, open, loving and accepting. Which reminded me of what I need to be when I leave the comfort of the Sanctuary - accepting of those different from me and loving to those around me.