As you know, when Ministers of Word and Sacrament are ordained and installed, we publicly answer a set of questions that Deacons and Ruling Elders also answer. Additionally we answer one more, part of which reads this way: “…Will you be active in government and discipline, serving in the councils of the church…?” Mitch and I both have remained true to our vows, having accepted opportunities to serve on our denomination’s councils. Currently, Mitch is serving the council of the Synod of the Sun as Moderator, and I am serving on a Presbytery-level council committee — one that is tasked with searching for and calling our new Interim Presbytery Pastor. It’s an exciting and important task and is one to which I am honored to have been called, partly because I am a daughter of the Indian Nations Presbytery and I have a vested interest in the long-term health and viability of my home Presbytery. But I’m also honored because Mitch and many others have worked many months restructuring our Presbytery with a vision for the future that is more cooperative and less adversarial. A new day has dawned in the Indian Nations and it’s time we have leadership that reflects our new way of doing ministry together.
Change is hard. It’s hard to accept that we need to change. It’s hard to know what change will benefit and what change will hinder. Finally, it’s hard to do the work of changing. Nothing about change is easy, and yet we all know that our world has changed and either we change with it or we fail in our calling to proclaim the good news. Change at the Presbytery level is something we have dreamed about and prepared for. Now it’s time to get in the trenches with new leadership and accomplish it. We are looking for a leader who will get out among the congregations of all of our churches and do the work of building fruitful relationships based upon mutual ministry and fond respect. We are looking for a Pastor.
My work on the Indian Nations Presbytery Interim Presbytery Pastor Search Committee (that’s a mouthful!) has given me a deep sense of hope and assurance for the future or our Presbytery. We have met and spoken with a number of qualified candidates who have caught our vision and see bright potential in what we are trying to do going into the future as a connected church. Knowing that there are pastors out there in the Presbyterian world who feel called to lead the church by ministering to each congregation’s needs and forming bonds within and between all of the churches in our larger church family is incredibly encouraging to me. Hearing in the candidates’ voices their true excitement about being out of the office, on the road, and in worship regularly gives me a sense that the right candidate is going to find his/her way to us and that all of the preparation of the Indian Nations soil is going to eventually harvest a glorious bounty. With God’s help, let it be so. Amen. — Reverend Laurel