I trust that this letter finds you all in good spirits. It is already November; this means that 2020 is coming to an end. What a year!
However, I am not going to talk to you about 2020. November is a great month for thanksgiving in the advent of things to come and in remembrance of past events that affect our present and our future. So, I want to start by thanking you for your careful and enthusiastic care in returning us to some semblance of ‘normalcy’ in the midst of continuing unusual times. This is true and trustworthy leadership, and it is encouraging to see what genuine trustworthiness looks like in lay leadership.
Encourage each other friends, as this is a necessary part of walking the Jesus way. Encouraging each other is a profound expression of how to live out our Christian faith. For “if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully” (Romans 12: 8).
I am pleased that we are where we are, in terms of our relationship across congregations. It has grown to the extent that we are not on eggshells around each other. We can talk across a breadth of topics in truth and honesty, sometimes tough but always kind.
We are all leaders, and some of us take on active roles as leaders in our congregations. As I have said previously, leadership does not only rest with the minister, but I will reiterate that none of us can lead effectively for a sustained period if we are not being inspired by God’s love for us, Christ’s teachings, and the powerful guidance of the Holy Spirit. Leadership is a gift.
People who embody this gift are called to encourage each other to keep focused on the mission, and a large part of being church is to be in community – common unity – with each other and with our communities. But as I have said before, leadership is not only about doing, it is also about being.
Friends, who are we if not people called to be constant and committed followers of Christ? And, whose are we if not people made in God’s image, unconditionally yet undeservedly loved by God, whose very doing and being are powered by God’s love, Jesus’ teachings and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. May God continue to bless each and every one of you.
In Jesus’ name