The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
– Psalms 32:8
Time is a funny thing. It can seem to expand and contract, with some days passing in a blink of an eye, and other days spent watching the seconds tick by. The pandemic has made it difficult to meaningfully mark the passage of time or even the change in the seasons, as one day feels so much like another. And while the last year (and two months, but who’s counting) spent in pandemic has carried pain, loss, and heartbreak, I am so fortunate to sit here today knowing that it has also been a time of deep joy in my life.
In the fall of 2019 when Dave Kidder reached out to ask if I would be interested in taking on the role of Vice Moderator (eventually leading to Moderator), it seemed like an easy decision. I felt deeply rooted in Cambridge through the First Church community and couldn’t imagine a life elsewhere for the four year duration of the position. Sure, a lot could change in any given year, but not that much, right? Little did we know. By February 2020, as I was actively jumping into my new duties as Vice Moderator, I was also dipping my toes into a new relationship.
And then the world changed.
One day, I was meditating in the sanctuary amongst the women of First Church, and mere days later, the Governor was declaring a state of emergency. Turns out, a heck of a lot can change in one week, let alone one year.
I consider it an extreme privilege to have served in 2020 as Vice Moderator, working closely with the Staff Policy Committee to walk beside our incredible staff through changing roles and economic uncertainty, and then in these last few months as Moderator, seeing the hard work of the staff and the congregation blossom into new growth like our incredible new website and our articulation of what it means to be an antiracist church. I have no doubt that First Church is on the right pathway to truly live into this vision of all that the church can be, and it is not without sadness that I acknowledge that I may have to witness that journey from afar.
After a year (and three months, but again, who’s counting?), I am now being called to walk a different pathway, moving to Flagstaff, AZ with my partner as he begins a new job. While we’ll start the 5-day, cross-country journey on June 1st, you’ll still see me around for the next couple of months in Executive Council meetings in this brave new Zoom world as I close out my Moderatorship. Though my time zone will be different and though our pathways may be diverging for now, First Church, know that you will all be in my heart and in my prayers, until such time as we meet again.