Monday, January 07, 2013

first day

Remember when you were a kid (or, if you have kids, remember back in August...) and your parents would make you stand in front of the front door of the house and have your first-day-of-school photo taken? Maybe you picked out an awesome first-day outfit (though I confess I don't exactly remember any first-day-of-school-clothing dramas). If nothing else, the photo was like a visual catalog of growing up. I kind of wish all my first-day-of-school pics were combined into one awesome collage or something.

Anyway, today's my first day at a new church. I have no idea what I'm going to wear. But I do know what my office looks like! So, enjoy this, because I promise that it will never be this clean ever ever again.

those photos are of my mom as a little girl, watching over my desk...

I don't think I'll be buying any more books, cuz these are full.

the one time you'll see the top of this desk...possibly forever.

There's a lot that's weird about a pastoral transition. I know it's weird for the church, but no one ever really told us how weird it would be for the pastor. You become part of a community, a family--with traditions, shared memories, hopes and dreams and fears. You are invited into the hardest and the most joyous moments of people's lives. And then, with 6 weeks notice, you're not. It's extremely weird. And then, to compound the weirdness, you go and meet 100 new people and do the same thing all over again. We carry these ties, these memories, these hopes and fears and dreams and relationships, over a whole career. We hold sacred and silly moments, for one community after another. And that is beautiful. And bizarre, if you think about it.

But there's so much promise, just as at the beginning of a school year. New outfit, new office, new photo, new adventures.


  1. Absolutely. I have left two communities where I was deeply wedded to the lives of the people - it is so hard to just stop. Even now, almost five years after I left the congregation I served near your new one, I still miss the people and the love we shared. But we have all moved on and I am coming to love these new people too - but also I appreciate that here we can do things that small church never could - and that is pretty awesome.

    So, I hear your grief and loss and hold with mine.

    And I hear your hope for the future and affirm it as a reality! Holding you in prayer as you start this journey.

  2. Congratulations! I will be so interested to read your reflections as transition becomes the new becomes the settled.

  3. so happy for you as you start this new adventure! Blessings dear Teri! See you soon!!!

  4. Love this. I enjoy reading your blog. Love love your book shelf and the pics of your mom looking over you and what you are doing. How touching and meaningful. Tracey Grady

  5. Lol. Says anonymous because under profile I had no idea which to clue what my URL is. Not really anonymous because I included my name.

  6. Our previous pastor jokes that she is somehow responsible for our expected child because she married us - I returned the joke and said because you will be the one Baptizing him, she will have some serious jealousy to overcome.

    I love symbolism so of course I see it in this situation... We were the last wedding she officiated at the church...and our son may be the first one you Baptize; she sent us on our way and you welcome the newest member of our family.

  7. Tracey--I think you can choose "Name/URL" and just put in your name and not a URL. :-)