There is a story of a congregation in New York that stopped all of its church programs just before 9/11. After some discernment, they felt that the Holy Spirit was calling them to let go of their programs and stockpile blankets, toothbrushes and candles. They felt a little crazy, but did it anyway. By the time 9/11 came, they were well prepared to meet the needs of their community.
Letting go is hard, because that thing, relationship, program or project is so enjoyable, and to let it go truly is a loss. But if we do not let go of the old, we cannot make room for the new.
November 29th marks the end of the church calendar year. It is a time when we say goodbye to the dear ones who have left us. I think it is also a good time to take stock of our lives and determine what we need to let go of.
Sometimes we see that something is working very well for a period and we institutionalize it. “Things should always be done this way from now on.” The problem is, this institutionalization can outlive the goodness of the program. Then we become complacent, and even rigid, in how we do things.
Many of us have a hard time with endings. But a faith group should regularly assess what needs to be discontinued and mourned. Leaders should program this into their regular cycles. Is it time to say goodbye to a dear program, even though it still has some good left in it, because it is time to do something new?
So I too am letting go to make room for the new. This is my last blog post on Faithful HR. It has been an awesome three years. I have learned so much, and am very grateful to my colleagues Elsie Rempel and Deborah Froese, both great writers who helped me learn and grow through their advice and editing services. And I am thankful to you for reading this and for your encouragement over the years. I will miss connecting with you in this way.