This is a season of transformation in the earth around us, in my life and in the life of the congregation. I love watching the world transform in the spring as the previously lifeless looking trees burst into bloom and the tulips and daffodils show off their colors. Yesterday I had to buy a new camera, since mine decided to have a serious mechanical malfunction on Saturday night. In the space of 3 years technology has transformed so significantly that the features on my “old” camera are now available in a camera far more compact and light weight. As I walked to work this morning I enjoyed taking a few pictures of nature transforming.
The buds on the tree will soon transform to leaves
This Sunday is Pentecost and marks the beginning of a huge transformation in the early church brought upon by the arrival of the Holy Spirit. With tongues of fire, the wind of the Spirit blew through the gathering of God’s people and all were energized to carry out the mission of the church. Pentecost Sunday is sometimes referred to as the birthday of the church. Those early followers were transformed by the presence of power of the Holy Spirit and went forth to transform the world. Many of our congregations need to experience that transforming power of the Holy Spirit and more than they, they need to be open to where the Spirit is leading. I have always felt so blessed by the willingness of Cole Harbour Woodside to be open to the leading of the Spirit, to allow God to direct our decisions and our movement…from amalgamation, to the building, to unreal ministry and Parish nursing – all directions given to us through discernment and all bringing transformation and new life to the congregation. Transformation is a gift when led by the Spirit.
I am excited about the transformation happening in my life at the moment and it is huge. Leaving 31 years of full time ministry, 26 here in Cole Harbour, is life changing but it feels good and right, and that for me is confirmation that the decision I made in January was indeed the right decision. I also feel incredibly confident that the decision made by the search committee to have Michael Mugford be the minister through the next 12 months of transition is so right. There is a lovely hymn in More Voices called “Embracing Change” and I know that for many people change is not easy but these words in the final verse are comforting
Spirit God: be our breath, be our song.
Blow through us, bringing strength to move on.
Through change, through challenge, we’ll greet the new dawn…
Spirit God be our song.
May it be so for all of us.