I have lately heard the word “anxiety” used often in describing this interim time. We have used that word enough that some have asked if there is something about which they should be anxious. I think not. I think of anxiety as fear that lacks focus. So the question becomes, “What am I anxious about?” When we can name that fear, we begin to control the fear and relax. A colleague once said, “Naming the fear is half the battle.”
Perhaps our fear is that our church life will not be as good in the future as it has been in the past. I was the interim pastor here over twenty years ago. Highland already had a rich history. There were struggles all around us. There were misunderstandings among us as well. We emerged from that time with two decades of growth in our thinking and being. We are more inclusive and justice seeking. Worship remains a rich experience. We look back and affirm we were led by the Spirit. Faith says we are being led now, too.
One fear I have heard is that Highland in the future may not be the church I joined. Highland is not the church I joined either. It is better. Your presence makes it better. Your vision fills me with hope. I believe we can be and will be better still.
Meanwhile, the work of love goes on. Loving one’s self overcomes guilt and shame. Loving each other unites us. Loving our community helps establish justice. Loving God banishes fear.