People of the Resurrection...
Please let me continue this week, the 3rd installment of the “New Pastor’s Impressions”, from the Annual Parish Meeting on June 5th.
Having been asked to share a bit of “How is it going after 5 months? What are your impressions?” I’ve thought about it & prayed about it. And I’ve come up with the following to share:
- First and foremost, I’m grateful, to God, to Bishop Ricken, to my Norbertine superiors and to you for allowing me to serve in parish ministry here at Resurrection. I feel as though parish life is the purpose, “the one great secret” as Thomas Merton would say, for which I have been born. Yes! Thank God! Thank you!
- Secondly, it being 14 years since I was last a “new pastor”, I’m feeling my age and the challenges of transition. It’s been a ‘steep learning curve’ and more sleeplessness than I’ve experienced before, or anticipated.
- It’s my sense that many of you also make your way through the various emotions and challenges of this time for transition for Resurrection. Of course, that’s OK; that’s normal.
- I realize that Resurrection calls me to be a different kind of pastor than the other parishes where I have served, as each parish does. Learning as I go, 25 years as a pastor, that growth is good, daunting and a blessing which is bringing me (and you, I hope) closer to the Lord Jesus.
- Those who are here are very well-served. There’s so many things in place, so many opportunities for anyone who ‘engages’ to tap into and grow!
- I know I’m your parish priest, but many days I don’t feel I’m your pastor - yet. Part of that is my ‘introvert’ slow at getting to know new folks and part of it feels like hesitation to go forward, possibly grief on your part. (This is my impression.) Again, it’s OK.
- I have most felt like your pastor in 1-to-1 settings: the confessional, the hospital room, in visits in my office or at the back door of church. I trust it will increase with time. I’m more realistic and patient now than I was in January.
- Having been told: “We have a well-oiled machine here,” and “We’re a group of retired folks who have it like we want it and we don’t want anybody to mess it up,” I still haven’t figured out what unique gifts I have to bring to help Resurrection grow forward. That’s a part of my regular reflection. Again, God will let me know in time. You too, maybe.
- I’m trying to use ‘fresh eyes’ to put the challenges, data and ‘growing edges’ before the community here at Resurrection.
- I’m growing to understand my place with our staff and my ministry with them and toward them.
All this brings me – us – closer to God, trusting that - “God will bless us...EVERY one”!