In the midst of this surreal time in history, it is feeling as though time itself is in flux. On one hand, I feel like I am doing the same thing day in and day out, there is an endurance required. Then, at the same time, it feels like everything is happening so quickly that I can’t keep up. Things are turning on their heads every time I turn around!
Time is both passing quickly and slowly all at once and it is a wild experience! I’d like to frame this update I have to share from your board of directors with that in mind… that things are happening both slowly and quickly… all at the same time.
It was about a month and a half ago that the Jubilee! Board of directors took a survey of the community, exploring what Sunday mornings were feeling like. Answers were all over the place on most questions… and that made a lot of sense to us. Jubilants are funny. We love being different. And, with our unique expression comes differing perspectives, wants, needs and so forth. With that trend towards mixed responses in the survey, it was pretty remarkable to find a very clear majority of respondents voice a desire to bring in a transitional minister, and more specifically a transitional minister with frequent guest speakers.
Jubilee! Is in such an important, vital transition. We are, quite naturally, grappling with our identity after 30 years of Howard’s leadership. And, we have had a rough year. Our community was torn across painful decisions that made all of us ask, what is this place? Who is Jubilee!? In important ways, we are building ourselves anew. It turns out the process is both slow as molasses and happening so fast we can hardly keep up!
So. Hearing the call from the community that a transitional minister is our next right step, we felt it important to have clarity around what we were seeking in a relationship with a minister at this point in time. It’s our belief that a transitional minister will offer needed perspective and insight as we engage our future, they will facilitate healing in our community, ground the spiritual basis for our decision making, hold us accountable to our values, and encourage the very best in us.
After a great deal of discussion, frequent meetings, and discernment, we realized that right before our eyes we have a talented, experienced minister who has been a part of this community in various ways for many years. Laura Collins has a powerful resume, packed with valuable experience working with churches engaged in leadership transition. Her strong capacity to listen within informs deep and salient Sunday messages. She radiates warmth and clarity. Laura shared several messages over the last few months. Each Sunday, she engaged the moment in powerful ways that seemed to both ignite courage and offer peace. Following these messages, many inspired Jubilants reached out to the board to express a desire to hear more from her. We approached Laura with hopes to get to know her more fully and to share about where we are as a community. In our discussion we found a shared certainty that she brings exactly what we need right now and that Jubilee! would be blessed beyond measure if she would join us as we forge ahead. She is, what a Jubilant might call, ‘A good sign.’
And, so we are moving forward. In a few weeks, Laura Collins will join us as our Minister of Transition. There is work to be done. There are bridges to build. There are people to feed. We will move more deeply into the work of evolving this community, healing, and emerging. It’s happening quickly. And it’s taking a long time! And… there is actually no better place to be than right here.
I hope you will join us on Sunday, August 9th to share your ideas for what lies ahead and to meet Laura Collins. We’ll gather online after the Sunday service to visit, ask questions, share ideas. For some the idea of hiring a Minister of Transition might be new. We’d love to hear your questions about this and we would love to hear how you might like to be involved!
Before I pass the mic, the other folks on the board with me want to take a moment to thank all of you for being here, for your courage in these times, and for building a community like this one that is capable of bringing such goodness into the world.
(as read by board member Elizabeth Likis at July 26 Sunday Celebration)