Support for Reverend Sally Norris
I delivered the following message at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting in January, but I believe it is important and relevant enough to share with the larger Church audience. I hope that you agree.
I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss what, for lack of better term, I will call the state of our church. I recognize that we have gone through a difficult year of changes, which have been more stressful and difficult to accept for some more than others. Having said that and recog-nizing that there will be disagreements and resentments, I do feel that it is important to remember that we are a Christian community that believes and practices love and tolerance, not only in the community and everyday lives, but here in our church when addressing our differences. One of the troubling aspects of being Moderator this past year was to be made aware of the negative and sometimes personally insulting tone of complaints often submitted in emails. I would like to suggest that if you have concerns regarding the performance and/or decisions of the staff, including the Senior Minister or any leaders of the church, that you contact the Pastor/Parish Committee, which exists to deal with the concerns of our members. Please avail yourselves of this opportunity for open dialogue and communication instead of submitting an email, which can easily be misinter-preted in content and intent.
I also believe what sometimes gets lost in our daily church life and resistance to change, is how fortunate we are to have Sally Norris as our Senior Minister. This past year, I have come to know her personally and spiritually and can honestly say, I have never met anyone, clergy or lay person, in any church who does not put her concerns and care of every, and I mean every, person in the congregation ahead of anything else in her life. This often results in her neglect of her own family members, and personal sacrifices.
Not only as Moderator this past year, but as a member of the Barnstable Association Church and Ministry Committee, I can assure you that there is no other church on the Cape, and probably beyond, that is better served by its Senior Minister than we are here at The Federated Church. I believe we all, as a congregation, have a responsibility to publicly recognize that and to provide Rev. Norris with all the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical support that we can during the coming year and into our future years.