Transitions and Anticipations

This past Sunday, the Staff-Parish Relations Committee announced a transition. On June 19, Rev. Nance Hixon will arrive in Natchez as the sixteenth pastor of Grace Church. My last Sunday at Grace will be June 17, and then I will move to Cleveland, MS, to pastor St. Luke United Methodist Church. I am immensely grateful for these five years in Natchez and sharing in the ministry of Grace Church. As United Methodists know, our pastors are called to "travel," and that time has arrived for us.

We all know that change is exciting yet sad, necessary yet difficult. With change come new beginnings for everyone involved. As we look towards these new beginnings together, poet John O'Donohue offers a blessing in his fabulous book, To Bless the Space Between Us, that seems too appropriate not to share. I will continue to blog from this site until early June, so please continue to read along. Over the next few weeks, it's very likely that we will turn to "packing theology" as I gather boxes! Until then, let us pray, for whatever beginning we are currently experiencing. As we know, every day holds new beginnings for us all.

For A New Beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

From To Bless The Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, John O'Donohue, Doubleday: New York (2008, page 14)