A Message From Pastor Margaret
Something new and different
To start something new can feel unfamiliar, unsettling, and scary to many of us, especially if it is something that
requires a new skill, making changes,
and leaving behind that which is familiar
Moving to a different place, kids going off to
college, changing jobs and so forth, are
significant changes we go through, changes
that shape us on the journey life presents
Leaving South Africa was never something
I intended to do in my young adult life,
because I experienced my home country
as a place of comfort, where my family and
friends lived, and still do. When the invitation
to come to Connecticut came out of the blue, I remember feeling my heart racing quite a bit. I was thinking about the wonderful opportunity to do something different, but the thought of leaving behind a life filled with the people and things that gave me joy, was not so easy. We had just
come through apartheid and were a few years into rebuilding the country when the call to leave came. I remember feeling torn between what I could do back home, and the need expressed by my new employer to bring those skills and experiences in mediation and reconciliation to the United States. When I accepted the invitation, and traveled to the many cities I worked in, I realized how the familiarity of home and what I got used to, gave way to new experiences, and meeting new people from all walks of life, from different cultures and languages.
Leaving South Africa, also led me to work in other countries and contexts where I could bring my skills and experiences to bear and
learn from others. In time I realized how much God gave me...the people I already knew and loved, and those whom I met on my journey who brought much joy and love into my life as well. The world became so much larger and my experiences so much richer.
The early disciples’ lives were dramatically changed when they encountered Jesus on their journeys. Their ordinary lives would be transformed into powerful experiences of utter joy, filled with wonder and awe as they deepened their spiritual lives, knowing Christ and knowing God. They would travel and bring the Good News to the many places and people they encountered. They gave birth to the Early Church, which became the foundation of the church we know and experience today. They would become apostles, and many would learn how to be part of the body of Christ with the different gifts they received from God.
You may have traveled your own journeys and made significant changes in your lives as well. During this new season, however, we may not need to leave our beloved town, Barre, but we may be asked to do something different or new in our congregation. Perhaps we may find that to accept the invitation to do something new and different might be good for us. We may meet new people, who will bring new experiences into our lives and to our church. All these parts of our journeys are blessings from God and are meant to fill our lives with the same joy and spiritual riches the disciples experienced.
May this new year be filled with amazing opportunities for all of us, and may we move beyond our fears and uncertainties to a place of calm and purpose. May God bless us all.