The Fountain Newsletter: Jan 17 2019

The Fountain

The newsletter of the First Presbyterian Church of Hartsville.

A Note from Rev. Kyle Henderson

Dear Fellow Christians,

As the Liaison from our presbytery’s Committee on Ministry to your congregation, permit me to share my thoughts with you about this time in your church’s life. I recently came across the similarity in sound of the Latin word, ianua, and the name of our first month, January. Ianua in Latin means door, and how fitting it sounds the same as our first month since January marks the entryway into our new year. I have often found it helpful spiritually to acknowledge from time to time the metaphorical doorways I have entered in my life. Embracing well those transitional times have guided me to move more effectively into new possibilities.

Yes, we have entered this new year, the doorway for 2019, and we can revel in its newness; but more importantly, you have also entered into a new chapter or doorway of congregational life as you prepare for new pastoral leadership. The fruitfulness of this time can be very ripe for the Holy Spirit to work among you, allow you to enjoy the nine fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

One of the traditional causes of great anxiety in congregational life has been identified as concern over pastoral leadership; in other words, when a pastor is leaving, or even when one is coming, or simply when one is missing, church studies have shown that pastoraltransitionusuallycausesimmenseconcernwithinacongregation. Onecan read in Exodus how the Israelites worried fretfully as Moses was away for so long communing with God on Mt. Sinai. In contrast to them, times of pastoral transition can be particular rallying points for all church members to look more intentionally to the Holy Spirit to guide, to comfort, and to lead the congregation through the will of the Session. In fact, pastoral transition is in many ways God’s pattern of reminding us that God is in charge and for us to be patient and faithful with God’s timing, all the while doing what we can to enact God’s kingdom effectively in our day.

As I work along with the search committee in the diligent search for the Interim Pastor whom God desires to be here, I ask you to consider this new doorway of congregational life you have entered. During the following days, offer God your prayers for help with whatever emotions that may come during this transition. Also, offer prayers to the Spirit for His guidance and wisdom to be given to the search committee and to all. And above all, I encourage you to be attentive to new possibilities of fruitfulness in church life as this congregation continues to journey to offer your all to Jesus Christ, bearing with one another and lifting each other up as needed.

In Christian Love and Support,
Rev. Kyle Henderson
Presbytery’s Liaison to FPC Hartsville