That first week went by rather quickly for me. It was wonderful to get to know a few you better through pastoral visits. I look forward to many more as the weeks progress.
In my visits it has come up already, "What will you be doing with us?" or "What is your vision for Milner?" Both of these, along with the many other questions I've been asked, are good. Let me take a moment to address these two for now.
What will you be doing with us?
First of all, I'll be getting to know you. We will spend some time focused on building a relationship together. Milner has had a couple of transitions recently which were quick so it will be important for us to plant our relationship well. We will look at where Milner has been historically to gain an insight to where God may be leading Milner today. This combined work will allow us to begin discovering a new identity and making the necessary changes to support that new vision. Finally, before my time ends this time next year, we will build a support mechanism to commit to this new identity as a pastor search is conducted. Some of this support will be a renewal of Milner's denominational identity as well well as building stronger community relationships.
What is your vision for us?
Interims don't bring the vision but bring the tools, planning, energy, and imagination which assists the congregation in discerning, implementing, and sustaining their vision. I know that many people are concerned about the vision and mission of Milner. What I can say is that God is alive and well in this community and will bless Milner with what it needs to serve God now and into the future. But, what that vision looks like...well, right now it's a bit early to tell.
Many congregations under one roof...
A community for those hurting and excluded...
A space for many organizations to call home here in SE Raleigh...
These are some mission ideas I've already heard and I suspect there are many more out there.
I have put on the calendar for Wednesday, May 24, a congregational gathering to get together and share stories, memories and more. It will largely be a time of reflection. I hope you can attend. I will also look for a date for day time meeting following the 24th to catch those who could not make an evening meeting.
Peace and blessings upon us as we invest prayerfully in this holy discernment.