by Rev. Dennis H. Kelly, Interim Pastor
After serving as your Intentional Interim Minister for the past twelve months, the time for me to say “goodbye” has come. My last day in the office will be February 12. My final worship services will be Saturday, February 10, and Sunday, February 11.
When an Intentional Interim Minister begins his, or her, work with a congregation in transition, it is always a journey into the unknown. We quickly try to learn about the congregation’s ministry in the past. We familiarize ourselves with the congregation’s ministry in the present time. And we try to guide a process that will lead members to discern a new vision and strategy for the congregation’s future.
What I have discovered is that Trinity has a long and rich history. Members of the congregation have often shared memories of strong pastoral and lay leadership, excellent music programs, an on-going commitment to serve the community, and a strong partnership with the greater church.
I have also discovered that the present ministry is not what it once was.
A decades-long decline in overall membership, stewardship, and volunteers
has created an atmosphere of anxiety and a sense of uncertainty.
Finally, I have discovered that even in the midst of anxiety and uncertainty, there is still a sense of hope. There is a willingness among Trinity’s leadership and membership to create a viable path into the future.
It has been an honor serving as your Intentional Interim Minister. There certainly has been some challenges along the way. However, the good people I have met, the dedicated leaders I have worked with, as well as, the positive experiences I have had, far outweigh any challenges there may have been. Consistent with the need for clear boundaries following a pastoral transition, I will be following the MCS-ELCA policy The Ethics of Pastoral Transition. After February 12, I will not be available to lead worship, teach Bible Study, make pastoral visits, officiate at baptisms, weddings or funerals, or any other pastoral acts. I have always appreciated when pastors before me have clearly stated these professional boundaries prior to their leaving, and then honored those boundaries after they have left. It is my obligation and privilege to offer the same.
May the Holy Spirit be with you and guide in the days, months and years that are yet to come. Know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers.