Pastor’s Pen

And All Shall Be Well

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose. [Romans 8:28]

 

Times of transition are never easy. They involve loss of what has been. They are accompanied by unknowns. They make us uneasy, to say the least, especially if we like the way things are and didn’t initiate—or don’t really want—the change that is at hand. The good news is: God is always with us in times of change.

Pastoral and staff transitions certainly qualify as precipitators of change. My upcoming retirement, coupled with David Derus’ discernment to pursue a call to create a new ministry, both make for a lot of change in a short time. But there’s more good news that attends this time of transition at First Pres:

  • We affirm David in his new calling as we bless and thank him for his ministry among us, grateful for all that has been and pledging our prayerful support as he focuses on his work with a new Presbyterian worshiping community in Culver City.
  • Sherril and I are grateful for the many heartfelt affirmations that you have shared with us, wishing us well in our new retirement vocation, grateful for what we have had together, yet sad to see us go—all testimony to the goodness of what God has done in our midst and is yet to do.
  • We have gifted, capable, visionary church leaders who are already hard at work discerning God’s purpose and implementing the next steps in sustaining and enhancing our youth, young adult and pastoral ministries for the way forward. The church can count on God’s goodness in raising up leadership for the next chapter in the First Pres journey.

Surely God is already at work in all these things! And as the apostle Paul so clearly understands (as he says above), God’s work is always for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose. God never lets us down. God never ceases offering his living presence in our midst. God works in the midst of change to comfort and encourage, to inspire and delight, to do a bold new thing in and with and for and through a people that is his own and for whom his steadfast love never ends.

Christian mystic and theologian of the fourteenth century Julian of Norwich said it beautifully:

All shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner of thing shall be well.[1]

The God of grace, mercy and steadfast love shall make it so!

Grace and peace,

[1] Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 27, c. 1393.