The Morning After - Monday Musing, October 18, 2021

Dear Church,


The Morning After. This 1973 song was written by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn for the Oscar-winning movie The Poseidon Adventure, starring Gene Hackman. According to songfacts.com, the song is about weathering the storm (figuratively and, in the context of the movie, literally), knowing there must be a morning after. On the morning after my Installation as your Pastor, this song came to my mind as I reflect on how we will mutually navigate this ministry to which we have been called.


Patty Kogut’s “Charge” to the newly installed pastor and congregation visually showed us the path to accomplish our work ahead. The Rev. Dr. Kogut is the Area Conference Minister of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ who worked with the pastoral search committee, so she knows our congregation well. Patty and I were members of an ACM Community of Practice prior to my accepting this call in Orleans, so she is a colleague and dear friend.

Patty’s visual included two posters, which she asked me to hold up high. One poster was labeled “Vision” and included the following: respect and listening; sharing the joy of discipleship!; standing with/advocating for the hurt, hungry, excluded; relieve suffering; working for peace throughout the world!; justice and mercy; God’s love and power is alive; flourishing of God’s creation; gathering in worship; and warm, inclusive welcome! The second poster was labeled “Values” and included the following: extravagant welcome; faith formation; responsible stewardship; transformational ministry; wondrous worship; purposeful leadership; and boundless beauty.


Patty reminded us that our work ahead is to hold our Vision and Values high – such efforts are to be done not only by me as your newly installed pastor, but also by the entire congregation as well. Our joint Charge confirms that there is an intersection of our time, the world’s time, and God’s time, which points to our abilities for our called ministry – right here and right now.


Our shared vision and values are robust. May yesterday’s Benediction serve as our motivation to move boldly forward together: May God be above us to lift us up, beneath us to uphold us, behind us to restrain us, ahead to encourage us, and may God be within us to inspire us this day and forevermore. See you in church!


Faithfully,

Darren


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