A New Season Together

The author of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the sun. In this season of transition when we welcomed a new baby into our family and prepared for an international move, these words (and the song they inspired) keep running through my head.
Moments of change and transition are challenging. When we step away from familiar routines, places and people, it makes us much more aware of how vulnerable we are. This is especially true when we don’t have control over the change as it happens.

This is one of the big reasons so many ancient cultures studied the skies and tracked the changing seasons. Their livelihood depended on being able to grow and harvest enough crops to survive the winter and support their families. We see remnants of this agrarian lifestyle today in our American celebration of Thanksgiving, and over in Scotland, school children are still given two weeks of “tattie holidays” every October. In previous generations, they would have spent these two weeks in the fields harvesting potatoes alongside their parents and older siblings.

For most of us, a change in the seasons is no longer a matter of life and death, but we still experience many other moments of transition and change that can quickly remind us how much of life lies beyond our immediate control: the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, an unexpected illness, and even starting a new job.

In these moments we, like our ancestors, sometimes look to the skies for some indication of reason or meaning—a pattern to help us make sense of things. These seasons challenge us, but they also offer an invitation. It is in these moments of transition that we can encounter God in new and unexpected ways. These encounters can have a powerful and lasting impact that allows us to see our normal lives and routines in a different light and empowers/enables us to go deeper in our relationships with God and with one another.

Our church has been in a time of transition and change for a while now, and as a church family you have all had the chance to reflect on where God has been at work in and through the congregation. You have also had many unique opportunities to provide leadership and pastoral care to one another and to the community. As we begin a new season together, I look forward to reflecting with you on this experience and wondering where God might be inviting us to grow and serve in the years ahead.