I started 7 weeks ago as the interim pastor at the Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor, Maine and attended my first week of interim ministry training with IMN in February in Parrish Florida. Fabulous group and training. I was so looking forward to my second week in Phoenix last week when the world turned…

What I’ve been reminded of in these days in all of the fear, grief, anxiety, loss, dislocation and confusion of what a good time it is for a church to be having an interim. Yesterday I had a talk with two of the deacons here about communion and thinking through having folks take part at home while watching our live-stream. We talked about what communion meant, what “traditions” mattered and what we could let go of, the essence and heart of the sacrament. We started to talk about what communion might be like when we are able to return to worship at church. This conversation about thinking through the core of what we believe and how we express it may well not have happened in “ordinary” times. Likewise, last week we had to live into new ways to think about staffing, leadership, communication, worship, pastoral care, etc. We had to again come back to our core values – what is important, what can be left, what do we need to keep. I know that all of us – individuals, communities of faith, families, all are being re-shaped during this time – having left what once was and setting sail towards what might be. On a journey we don’t know how long it will take. What we do know is that we have been changed already and will be. We won’t ever go back to what was before and the Spirit is remaking us. What I know is that God is with us on this journey as I see that expressed in leaders stepping forward to be here with and for each other and the wider community. It is such an encouragement. And I am encouraged about what we will discover on this interim journey as a particular church in mid-coast Maine and as a wider faith community and people. This interim time for all of us is indeed a marvelous and unique time to be on an interim ministry as church.

Peter Ilgenfrtz 206-484-9814 ilgenfritzpeter@gmail.com


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