What joyous news! I could almost hear the bells ringing this past Sunday as I sat in church and learned that Burke Presbyterian Church had called a new pastor – actually a pastoral couple!
As I sat there, I heard gasps of excitement, some concern, and wonderful blessed anticipation from my fellow congregants. I know that our Pastoral Nominating Committee (PNC) worked diligently throughout the year and reviewed, discerned, interviewed, wondered, and prayerfully considered all those who felt called to be a part of our church family.
Likewise, I know that our Session carefully, faithfully, and prayerfully reviewed the PNC’s recommendation and the business side of calling a co-pastorate to Burke and approved a motion to offer the terms of call for this co-pastorate. I know that these statements are true, not only because I know the individuals involved and voted in a congregation meeting to accept their discernment, judgement, and decisions, but because I know that this system of governance works in a prayerful and respectful way.
And now we wait! After all the anticipation and then the announcement, I still have to wait…..it sort of feels like Advent in Summer!
And just like Advent, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of Christmas, our summer Advent at Burke will be filled with expectant waiting and preparation for our new pastors. Just like Advent, I suspect as we wait and prepare for our new pastors, it might be easy for some of us to lose sight of the profound spiritual importance of this time in our church’s history.
I have decided to try to do with my Summer Advent what I often fail at doing during my real Advent season – balance the sacred part of the Advent season with all of the other things that might be floating around in my head about how a co-pastorate will work at my church.
I am planning to address my expectant waiting with the knowledge that my leaders have done the hard work and now its up to me and my fellow congregants to make time for quiet reflection and prayer as we prepare for the arrival of our new pastors.
Just think of the possibilities that co-pastors can bring to Burke! What an adventure we are about to embark upon – interestingly enough the word “advent’s” English root is “adventure.” How convenient for my closing paragraph!
If Advent is a season of the year when we open our eyes, ears and hearts to going on an adventure with the God of the Bible, I hope all of our eyes, ears, and hearts are open to the possibilities, blessings, and endless adventures we are about to embark upon as we expectantly await the arrival of this new couple whom God has called to be the newest part of our church family.
As we often say here at Burke, “For behold, I am doing a new thing…..” Isaiah 43:19, and I cannot wait!