The Pastor's Pen

The reality has set in.  David is no longer pastor. The new interim pastor is REALLY different! It feels like “everything” has changed!

But aren’t you still the same group of people who love each other? The same group of people who have always found great comfort in meeting together on Sunday mornings? That hasn’t changed a bit! Styles of worship shift, sure.  From what I heard, David tried new things quite often. But that doesn’t change the core of who you are as UCOL. Your love for each other—and the love of God—is the sustaining strength of this community. Always has been.

The transition work is well underway. The next thing to come is the Timeline Party, following church on Sunday, 11/5. We’ll fellowship over a potluck, and then spend some time remembering and celebrating our church’s past.  Those of you who have been around for a while longer than the rest of us—this is your time to shine. We need your memories of what it was like “way back then.”  You’ll be hearing a lot about this event because the Communication Team (a sub-team of the Transition Team) has geared up to make sure that you are well informed about everything that we are doing.  And speaking of being well-informed, if you have any questions or want to give any feedback, members of the TT are available after every service to hear what you have to say.  They meet for a few minutes down front near the exit. For other information, see the Q&A section later in this newsletter.

Speaking of the Transition Team, I just want to take a moment and brag on how blessed you are to have such a great group of people functioning as your TT. Over and over, I see them striving to give you their best work, holding themselves accountable to the commission to guide this church through the transition and the pastoral search process. Good people, they are!

It has come to my attention that some folks are having a hard with the slides I use with my sermons.  I wanted to address that, if you’ll allow me. I know that they are a radical change for some of you.  While I was talking to the Pulpit Committee before being called, I asked about using slides.  There was mixed response, but it wasn’t a “deal breaker.”  I talked with several people about it during July (when I wasn’t in the pulpit), and got varied responses, based on people’s preferences. I finally asked Pastor Dave. He didn’t think it would be a problem, which I took as a definitive answer. (If he wouldn’t know, who would?) 

So let me tell you my thinking about the slides.  You know that there are many different learning styles. I personally am a highly visual learner.  If you’ve been around me for any time, you know that I take notes of every meeting and nearly every conversation.  I simply can’t remember most of what I hear. Taking notes allows me to remember the stuff I should be remembering.  For the people who are auditory learners, the preaching works.  For the visual learner, the slides help.  For the kinetic learner, the sermon outline helps. I am simply striving to be inclusive as I communicate.  And for those who are hard of hearing, I have heard more than once that the slides help them keep up with what is being said. I also know that I can tend to speed talk. The slides help translate me for those who hear slower than I speak. 

I am in a sermon series called The X Event.  (The X has long been used by the Church as a symbol for Christ.) Since the first century, the Church has used a liturgical calendar based on the life and ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. This sermon series is going through events of Jesus’ life and examining the gifts we have received from God through them. (There are a LOT of them!) We’ll continue with that up to Advent.  For Advent, we’ll have a special emphasis that I look forward to rolling out.

LeRoy and I are glad to be here among you. We have quickly come to love you. You are easy to love. (Well, except xxx. That’s taken some effort. You know who you are.)  I welcome your questions and feedback. Don’t hesitate to talk to me about whatever is on your mind.  (The rumors that I will bite your head off are vicious and unsubstantiated and should be ignored.)  I pray for you that God will bless you with the riches of His grace.  Pray for me that I know God’s will and will stay the course.  Pray for this church that we will be everything that God wants us to be in this place and time. 

Yours for the interim, 

Pastor France