As most of us know we have entered a two-month time of intentional discernment as a body here at Newberg Friends. The NWYM (our denomination) is being restructured and we have decisions to make that have implications for us all. As I have been in this process I find myself saying, “Nothing has changed and everything has changed…” I would guess that if each of us stop and consider the day before the NWYM decision and the day after we would be able to list many values, hopes, and callings of Christ that have not changed. But I know for me the day after this decision I realized that some practical things have changed. We have decisions before us that have implications for our daily life together. Things around Newberg Friends will not be the same no matter what choices we make as individuals and as a community. While this does raise up feelings of grief, pain, loss, and wonderment, today I want to name some core things that have not changed in me.
- I care for this community deeply and will live into the call to pastor (shepherd) us in this process of transition and change.
- I commit to be open to listen to Christ and let the Spirit move in and through me.
- I commit to do what I can to have open hands and an open heart.
- I commit to live into the call to be careful with my words, actions, and attitudes.
- I commit to seek to help us all live into the calls of Christ that are rising up within us.
- I commit to pray for you and us all that we keep in step with the Spirit (Galatian 5:25) of Christ.
- I commit to continue to remind myself and us all to keep seeking to do the kingdom work of God in this world.
The decisions before us need to be made and many things will look different. I wonder how we might make sure that these next months (and even years) we can be people that seek to bless one another. How might we reach out and be a blessing to those with whom we disagree? How might we speak words that bless and affirm the Imago Dei (Image of God) in each person? The decisions we make are important, but the heart of love that we have is primary. May we be a community that loves one another deeply no matter what!