For a portion of my holidays over the upcoming two weeks I will be taking a course at Vancouver School of Theology entitled “The Art of Transitional Ministry.” In my capacity as Moderator of the Presbytery of Vancouver Island I have discovered that we as a denomination are rather deficient when it comes to training ministers to assist during transitional times for congregations. One of the textbooks for the course is entitled, How to Lead When you Don’t know Where You’re Going: Leading in a Liminal Season by Susan Beaumont. She wrote this book in 2019 to help church leaders deal with transitions usually related to loss or change within a congregation (like a Minister leaving or a significant shift in a congregation’s ability) however, this book has come to mean something different as church leaders navigate the “post”-pandemic season.
Liminal seasons are “inbetween” times, the term comes from the Latin word, limen, which means threshold. Beaumont says that, “Liminal seasons are threshold experiences where the continuity of tradition is called into question, and uncertainty about the future fuels doubt.” Modern day Franciscan Richard Rohr says that, “this is a sacred space where the old world is able to fall part, and a bigger world is revealed.” One of the reasons I am taking this course is because I foresee all of our churches, including ours, going through a liminal season as we are challenged by the changes that have taken place over the last 2 years of the pandemic. I recently shared with a colleague that perhaps one of the hardest changes is that 1/3 of our congregation is no longer with us or able to attend worship. Over the last 2 years over 40 previous active attendees have died, moved away, transferred membership or are no longer able to attend due to mobility/care. It’s shocking to see that in writing. Due to the uncertainty of what that means it indeed feels like a liminal space. However, I am hopeful, because Beaumont also says that, “Liminal seasons are exciting and innovative. The promise of a new beginning unleashes creative energy, potential, and passion. God’s greatest work occurs in liminal space.” I hope that when I return from my course I will have lots to share with you about how we can embrace this time and see God at work!
Thank you to everyone who is providing leadership and coverage while some of us are away. Thank you to Erica Farrell who is preaching! Thank you to Mary Bitroff who is playing piano! Thank you to George and Marion who are providing sound! Thank you to Corinne Wester who is providing the live stream from her laptop!
Please note that the live stream will be different in quality but should still be accessible via our YouTube channel at 10:30am on Sundays.
Please contact Angela Hope in the event of pastoral emergency, 250-650-8830.
It is our hope to offer coffee and fellowship following the service. If you are interested in assisting please contact the office so that we can start to put a roster together.Mark your calendars for an upcoming Bible Study running every Thursday over zoom at 7pm starting May 26 until June 16. The study is entitled “Meet the Disciples”. Most of us can name some of Jesus’ disciples but not all twelve but more importantly is understanding the dynamics of the group and how they went on to influence the spread of Jesus’ teaching. This study will help us delve into the lives of the original disciples.