by Conference Minister Diane Weible
My daughter graduates from college this week. It is fun to hear her talk about her options for the future and how she is both excited and nervous. It’s a big week for her and for us as her family.
It has me thinking about other transitions. New jobs are exciting and, of course, are a time of transition. In our office, as most of you know, Sonny Graves has moved to Minnesota where he accepted a call to Pastor a local church. We wish him well even as we miss his presence with us. And, we are also excited that we have a new Administrative Assistant. Miranda Samaile has been a blessed addition to our staff.
Even the Conference Office itself has undergone transition as we have moved to what we hope will be a long-term home for us in San Leandro. If you missed our Open House, please come and visit us!
There are many in our wider church family experiencing grief and loss. Rev. Champ Traylor, Pastor of St. John’s San Bruno, recently lost his beloved wife of sixty-five years, Patricia. As their family celebrates her life and are comforted by memories of laughter and joy we also know their grief is real and painful. Anyone who has lost someone they love or is caring for someone facing a life-threatening illness is faced with this painful reality. Our prayers are with Rev. Traylor and all who are experiencing the pain of grief and the transition from this life. Our faith comforts us to know that our loved ones are with God but that doesn’t change the fact that there is a hole in our lives where they once were.
There are transitions of new relationships as couples plan for upcoming weddings (we are beginning what I believe is considered the season for weddings, right?) and, of course, many of my friends ae experiencing growing families as they welcome new children into their homes through birth and adoption.
A number of our ministers are preparing for retirement. Another transition that is marked with both joy and anxiety. It is the beginning of a new chapter in life and ministry that seems as if it should be nothing but joy and yet I know there is the fear of the unknown that can make us think and re-think where we go from here.
I’m sure I have missed transitions that some of you can name. Some of us handle transitions better than others. Some transitions that seem as if they should be nothing but joy-inducing can be difficult for the person experiencing the change. And, some transitions are just hard, no matter how you look at it. But through it all, God goes with us. God cares for us and is there to offer us what we need at the time we need it—God laughs with us, cries with us, holds us close when we need it and stands by us even if we don’t know what we need.
Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us: Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
May all the transitions in your life be moments that bring you closer to God and may God’s peace be with you in joy and sorrow, celebration and grief.