All Saints – By Rev. Alan Mead
For Christians today is All Saints’ Day. It is a day that we pause to remember and give thanks for those who are no longer here. Of course we remember those who have had strong faith and who have accomplished remarkable achievements; but increasingly I find myself remembering those who have touched my life in small as well as large ways, those who’s smile and touch and gentle voice are present still in memory; those who, although no longer here, continue to encourage and form me. As I look out toward the horizon the sea glistens in the morning sun and, with varying hue, stretches to the boundary of my vision and beyond.
Sad News – By Rev. Alan Mead
It is with great sadness that we have learned of the sudden death of our dear friend and colleague the Rev. Gary Goldacker yesterday afternoon (Oct 24, 2016). Gary was a long time member of the IMN Faculty, and served Episcopal congregations in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Cleveland Heights, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Newport and several other places.
Our sincere condolences are extended to his wife, Carolyn, and the rest of his family. Funeral arrangements are being determined, and we will pass that info along as they become known.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory!
Monday Morning – By Rev. Alan Mead
It is Monday morning. Many of us who practice interim ministry may be taking a moment to reflect on the congregation we are currently serving, a pause between the ending of one week and the beginning of another. Is this a time to plan our activity and schedule for the coming week? How will our energy be used? Will we be reactive to whatever surfaced over the weekend? Or is this moment, this pause to be still, a time to allow our own energy to be replenished? May we find moments between each week, moments each day to be still, to build within a space where we can simply be ourselves, and where we may we be at peace. In the midst of activity, demands, stress, may you know the grace and joy of a moment claimed for yourself alone. You are of great value and you bring the gift of yourself, and that is the most important thing to know today.
Self-Differentiated – By Rev. Alan Mead
As one who has been practicing interim ministry for many years I have come to think of myself as developing a healthy sense of self-differentiation. What a surprise, outside of a church setting, in a meeting that I was chairing, when I had just returned from vacation and wasn’t fully prepared, to find myself being reactionary! As a part of me observed the interactions and dynamics I thought, “Wow! This is going badly and I am making it worse.” I took a deep breath and ….
We have probably all experienced some similar setting; people anxious and reactive, looking for answers when there are none that are satisfactory, and almost stumbling over one another to voice frustration and anger. One colleague I know has developed a method and demeanor to “shut it down,” moving conversation forward by not allowing any venting. Others, including myself, allow thoughts and feelings to be expressed, with a ground rule that insists on it reflecting one’s feeling or thought about a situation and not attacking or singling out individuals to blame.
It didn’t help that I hadn’t met with the association manager and didn’t have the facts at my fingertips. It didn’t help that there were 10 times more people present than at a normal monthly Board meeting. It certainly didn’t help that I was feeling just as frustrated as everyone else at the meeting. What did help, as the criticism reverberating through the room began to repeat, was taking a deep breath and …