May 2019 is filled with change and transitions. We have students graduating from local high schools and colleges. We announced new clergy leaving and coming to churches in our District. Families are experiencing transitions in light of births, deaths, illness, employment; financial, marital and spiritual changes are impacting lives daily. Even our denomination now finds itself in the midst of change and transition following recent General Conference and Judicial Council decisions.
Transitions bring with them expected and unexpected emotions and actions. Wisdom is needed as we navigate. William Bridges, author of the book Transitions reminds us that every transition includes “the difficult process of letting go of an old situation, suffering the confusing nowhere of in-betweenness, and of launching forth again in a new situation”.
The Message translation of Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us of the importance of discernment related to the actions needed at this time.
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.
It is my prayer that we recall “God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time”. Let us seek to be helpful partners with God and people who are in the midst of the sometimes “confusing in betweenness” of change and transition. Remember: helpful people are non-anxious listeners, seekers of truth and the common good, courageous, trusting God and loving all of God’s people, following the example of Jesus.
We are On Mission Together,
Candace Lewis, District Superintendent
Gulf Central District