From the Rector…
We’ve seen a lot of changes over the past few years. As we continue to move beyond pandemic, I wonder if we are marking those changes and reminding ourselves how and why things do change. Change is a normal part of life—the seasons change, we grow and develop over time, our bodies change, our relationships ebb and flow—change is inevitable. It is how we respond to change that truly determines who we are.
When faced with change we might become resistant. Ignoring or denying change is one way in which we resist it but there are others. We begin to complain, challenge, and find the negative energy around change and latch on to it. We stop looking for the good that might happen in the change or the possibilities that change opens the door too and instead, do all in our power to shut it down or simply shut down ourselves. We lose a spirit of curiosity or even openness to the world and want to limit our world and the creativity of others. In many ways, that resistance offers us a perception of control. Too often, that perception is false, and we soon discover our world spinning away from us and out of our control.
At other times, change can be welcome. Even if we might not understand it at first, when we approach change with open hearts and minds, we being to discover that there can be other ways of experiencing the world and new treasures to unearth. When change is welcome, we take delight in it—a newborn baby, changing jobs, entering college, marriage, moving to a different city— in part because those changes often feel a little more within our control. Our perception surrounding those kinds of changes gives us the courage to be a little more creative even in the face of our fears and anxieties. We embrace discovery and seek to experience new things.
Sometimes change is shrouded in mystery—which might be exciting for some and terrifying for others. many of us like to live in a world in which we clearly understand the expectations of self and others. We want to know the rules and get frustrated if it feels like they are too fluid. We all remember that kid who kept changing the rules every time you played together. The past two years have not offered us a static sense of the rules. Every couple of weeks, at least at the church, but also in much of the world we had to PIVOT! In this new time, we are less fluid and have returned back to our more static understanding of the world in which we set expectations—real or not—and believe that this is how the world should be.
However, you might approach change, change is always coming. Some of the changes we have made at CoA include streaming worship. I am delighted so many people get to worship with us in this way and always a little surprised by the number of folks who livestream worship be it on Sunday or weekday Morning Prayer. We have also started podcasting our sermons as a way of sharing our witness and reflection of God’s word to the world. We upgraded our sound and lights in the Nave—though most people haven’t even noticed. We had several staffing positions change including a new administrative assistant to the clergy, a new Communications Officer, and a new youth and children’s minister who is our Director for Families and Faith Formation. We’ve welcomed the scouts—both boys and girls—into our space, as well as AA, Yoga, the Garden District neighborhood association, the Capital City Gardeners, ONE Montgomery, amongst others. With all these changes comes a little upheaval as people experience them in their own ways. But they also invite opportunity for us to engage in church in new and creative ways.
As the church continues to grow and expand—a natural response to the change we are experiencing—our building needs have expanded as well. Come Monday, we will begin to see those needs put into action. As, hopefully, you have heard by now, our Capital Campaign will begin its building phase. This change will cause us a little disruption and small inconvenience as we begin to shape our new choir room space on the fourth floor. The library entrance will be the main construction entrance as well the stairwell next to it. As we begin phase one, the choir room, I hope you will continue to hold the church in your prayers and share in the excitement of how we are participating with God in “making all things new” even and especially as that comes with change.
Light and Life,
The Way, the Truth, the Life Capital Campaign Prayer
Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, inspire your people by your creative vision in the growing of your church, that we may partner with you and one another to share in The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Amen.