Transition: many thoughts circle in my head when I hear the word “transition.” Yikes! There is change afoot. How is it going to affect me? Will it be good? Will it be better? Will it be worse? Oftentimes when we look at change, we look inward and not out beyond ourselves.
Transition, change, endings and new beginnings . . . Our diocese is about to embark on a new adventure—the calling of our fifth bishop. This is my third season of transition in the calling of a new bishop, having been hired by our second bishop, C. Brinkley Morton. In order to begin on this new fork in the road, we must first be attentive the 12 year path we have traveled with Bishop Mathes. We must celebrate the wonderful, sometimes challenging, sometimes unbelievably joyful, journey we have traveled together these past years. We need time to grieve his leaving, celebrate his time with us, and wish him and Terri well on their new path to Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS). We need closure before we look ahead to the future.
What lies ahead for us now? Change. This is a time of hope, a time of prayer, a time of thanksgiving for our standing committee and for those who will come forth to serve on the calling and transition committees. The transition time between bishops will likely be 15-17 months. We will not be a ship afloat without a captain. Our diocese will be well-cared for by the able leadership of our standing committee. They will be sure we continue to have Episcopal oversight, Sunday visitations, an uninterrupted ordination process, pastoral care for clergy and diocesan staff, and they will oversee the nomination process before us. Our executive council will continue to oversee the budget and programs of the diocese. Life in the diocese will move forward.
We will see new faces. we will hear new ideas, we will wonder . . . who will we ultimately call to be our new bishop? We wonder about different things. For those of us in the diocesan office it is, “What will she/he be like to work for?” “What will be different, what will remain the same?” To my colleagues I say, “Follow my motto for it has served me well: Semper Gumby, always flexible.”
Rest assured, all will be well, the diocese will move forward under new leadership. We are a welcoming diocese—welcome our new bishop. Expect change—embrace change—and never, ever, say, “This is how we do it here!” +
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