Transitions are times of recommittment

churches-transitionThis Sunday is Emmanuel’s last Sunday with us. Transition times are occasions of new beginnings and recommittment to the journey.

Emmanuel has been with us for six years. He has brought a commitment to the spirituality of children and youth. He has given fine pastoral care to those in need. Born and raised in Ghana, Emmanuel brought a global awareness to our life as a parish. He has been an outstanding welcomer of new members.

He takes those gifts and more to Christ Church, Columbia, Maryland. Christ Church is an historic parish with a modern outlook. They were established as Queen Caroline Parish by the Maryland legislature in 1727. The name Christ Church was first used when the historic “Old Brick” building was consecrated as Christ Church in 1811. It is still used for small services and other events. Their current church building, New Brick, was consecrated in 1993.

I like to think of transitions in the way Godly Play speaks of the circle of the church year. The story teller pulls one end of a golden cord from a closed hand that holds the rest of the cord. This is the beginning. Remember when Emmanuel first came to us… The cord is then pulled out further and further. Think of all the ways Emmanuel has touched us over six years… Then the end of the cord appears. Emmanuel has finished his ministry with us and is called to Maryland. The priesthood is apostolic. Priests are sent from place to place… But in the church we tie the end of the cord to the beginning. It reminds us that every beginning has an end. And every ending has a new beginning.

So as we say good-bye to Emmanuel on Sunday and he ends his ministry with us, we embark on a new beginning. We hold the valuable lessons that Emmanuel has taught us. We cherish the memories of all we have done together. And we look expectantly to a new beginning, new joys, new possibilities. That is the circle of the church. Transitions are times of recommittment.