In the days around the printing of First Connections, we punctuate the sentence of this interim season. It is a point we can mark, which actually stretches in two directions towards the past as well as the future. Whenever there is a period placed at the end of the sentence of an interim season, there is a point on the page that needs recognition. It is the point of gratitude, the point on which we pivot. It is gratitude that stretches in both directions, reaching into the past and pointing towards the future.
[pullquote_right width=”50%”]With all of those names on the list of gratitude, there are still more to add. There are the countless names of faithful church members, serving in known and unknown capacities.[/pullquote_right]Our gratitude could begin in many places. We could begin with the names listed at the end of the First Connections newsletter. We give thanks for Dale Peterson, Leigh Anne Armstrong, Samantha Holland, Bryan King, Trista Slaughter, and Meagan Smith. There are unknown moments of diligent work for which we pivot into the next season. We could also place the names of Fisher Humphreys and Ronnie Brewer, along with other faithful preachers of the gospel of Christ, who blessed the church and enriched its life over the recent months. We could then place the names of the Search Committee as well, who listened, prayed, and worked with faithfulness.
The list could begin with these names, but it does not end with them. There are the many other names of the deacons, those who served and worked, as they always do, with wisdom and patience. They are people who spent their nights thinking and praying and their days offering good leadership. We are grateful for their work, which continues. We could also thank the various committees of the church, which are its lifeblood. They are the groups of people who serve and teach, plan and implement. Their faithfulness has been and continues to be a gift to the congregation.
With all of those names on the list of gratitude, there are still more to add. There are the countless names of faithful church members, serving in known and unknown capacities. They are the ushers, teachers, nursery workers, youth leaders, soundboard technicians, and others. We can also name the prayers and the commitment of the entire congregation, who are ministers of the gospel as well. It is the priesthood of the believers, where the goodness of God is manifested in endless ways.
Finally, we add the Grace of God to this list, which is not placed at the beginning of the list or at its end, but recognizing that it surrounds every person and every effort represented on the list. We are thankful for the Spirit of God, which meets us as the body of Christ, as we give thanks for the blessings of this interim season and as we pivot forward.