For the last (almost!) 15 years, we’ve been through a lot together. I arrived in Roselle in the Fall of 2000, and just as I began to feel like I had settled in, 9-11 happened and the world turned upside down. Other disasters happened (I’m looking at you, Sandy) and people that I loved died and were buried, and babies I baptized grew up and were Confirmed.
I was asked recently about my legacy and I had to laugh. Back in the day when ministry was measured based on building programs and budget lines, a pastor’s legacy was spelled out in numbers and photos. The image is one of empire-building, with the clergy claiming the legacy of turf-building. Even the word “legacy” has ties to the idea of the inheritance of money or property.
But things are different now. It’s not been about buildings (although we’ve done some of that!) and budget as much as it has been trying to figure out what God’s desire is for this wonderful group of misfits that all fit beautifully here. It’s worship and dinners served (potlucks and soup kitchen), it’s prayers offered for one another and laughter…. so much laughter.
It’s not about me and it has never been about me. When the conversation turns toward “my legacy” we negate the blood, sweat and tears of an entire community. I never would have been able to be who I am in this place, if it weren’t for this place being what/who it is. And that continues because God will continue to hold this congregation close… and God will continue to urge this congregation to move outward. I’ve been delighted to be a part of the Good News that is preached on this corner and in this community, and I have no doubt that God will continue to work out God’s purpose here long after all of us are gone.
Amen, sister. Your legacy of planting seeds (theologically and horticulturally!) is real and powerful. I am grateful for the ways your humor has ministered to so many, including me.
Beautifully said Karen. You will be missed. Not just by your congregation, but by the friends lives you have touched along the way. ❤️