I always look forward to November with enthusiasm. November is the month of both my dad and my sister's births, and birthdays are for celebrating! And as I've gone through life, it's
become more complicated. When I was in middle school, one of my stepcousins was killed in a motor vehicle accident on my stepdad's birthday, right around Thanksgiving.
The congregation is continuing to experience change, as we have now lost two members to death in the last two months, and those losses are great. And we have welcomed several new members in the last month, and those gains are great -- we are truly so happy to them.
Our spiritual theme for this month is Change. Change is an important idea to reflect on, but I am at least as interested in the deeper idea of transformation as part of change. Change is a constant in our lives: what I want to know is what meaning do we make of it, and how do we change in light of it? How are we transformed?
An inherent part of change is loss. Even good changes mean some loss(es) for us -- for example, moving from Pennsylvania where I had been serving as a staff chaplain required me not only to leave the proximity I had to my family and many connections in Ohio, as well as losing my identity as a chaplain, along with the stresses and challenges of moving across the country. Among the surprise and very welcome changes that came from this was the extensive clean-out of clutter and various things that I didn't need and certainly was not interested in moving again!
Change is a constant part of our lives. What do you make of it, and what will we make of it together? These are among the questions we'll be asking and wondering on this month. I look forward to seeing or hearing from you soon!