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Musings... On Leadership and Not Knowing...

Snowflakes are beginning to fall this morning as I finally sit to write, Musings on Monday in a quest for understanding and the creation of a better world…”

After a very long day yesterday, ending at 10PM after an almost three-hour meeting in Moncton, I was up early this morning to get the truck to the garage. There, the mechanics changed the oil and switched summer tires over to the snow tires. A seasonal ritual that I needed amid all the chaos of the world.

It was there in the garage this morning that I looked for the first time at the readings for this coming Sunday and the theme that seemed to jump from the page for me was that of leadership. The text from Joshua (3:7-17) captures the beginning of Joshua’s role as a leader and that of each of leader selected from each of the twelve tribes – and how they had to risk getting their feet wet so that the people could cross over the river Jordan. And then there is the gospel passage, Matthew 23:1-12, but especially verses 11 & 12 “The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

And I wondered, what might these texts have to say to us and our leaders in the face of ongoing conflicts around the world? What might these text have to say to us and our leaders in the face of our own challenges as a community of faith? And, what are our individual and collective responsibilities as leaders?

At that meeting in Moncton last night, Shawn Redden and I presented to representatives from Central United, Visions United and Sackville United, a proposal for a collaborative ministry pilot project. It was/is a scary experience to step out and risk getting your feet wet and to still be uncertain, unsure if this is a possible life-giving way forward. But, as Joshua quickly learned in the story we will hear on Sunday, standing still is not an option.

I suspect that I will continue to draw often from the wisdom of Susan Beaumont’s book, How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You are Going: Leading in a Liminal Season over the next number of months as the governing bodies and congregations involved discern next steps. Do listen for information from the Executive.

... and the snow by now has begun to accumulate!



Looking Back

Last week began with two and half full days of learning and connecting with others who are involved in the work of Investigations and Reviews for the United Church of Canada. While in Toronto I was also able to connect with a former business partner and one of cousins! On Wednesday I was support to fly on to Montreal but unfortunately Zack was ill and the best course of action seemed to be for me to come directly home – which I did. At home of I made use of the time to catch up on some correspondence and reading and on Thursday I devoted myself to writing the reflection that you heard on Sunday.

Looking Ahead

Following my early morning trip to the garage, I worked from home today – reflecting on the meeting last night and following up on a few matters related to that and writing these words to you. This afternoon I did step out into the snow to get my annual flu vaccine.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will be in the office all day attending to a series of meetings with various folk.

On Wednesday I look forward to being with Open Sky participants and others as we gather for coffee at 10AM. At 1PM I will meet with the Worship and Sanctuary Committee to begin looking at the Advent and Christmas season and at 4PM I am off to get my 2nd vaccine of the week.

The bulk of Thursday will be devoted to drafting the liturgy and reflection for Sunday. Of course, the Sunday before November 11th is normally reserved for Remembrance Sunday, but I am thinking, that with all the conflict in the world, a focus on peace-making, rather than remembering war, might be more appropriate… in the afternoon I hope to be able to honour a request for a pastoral visit at Dorchester penitentiary.

Friday and Saturday will be days off – however on Friday I will be taking part in the Annual Sackville Legion Dinner where I will bring greetings and offer the blessing.

Jennie is away on Sunday and I look forward to Harris’ musical leadership at both our 11AM Sunday Gathering and as I offer leadership at the Drew Nursing Home at 3PM. Hope to see you as part of the gathered community!

Looking Further Ahead

From November 6th to 12th I will be on Study Leave, working from home to prepare for Advent and Christmas. In the event of a pastoral emergency please contact me and I will respond as I am able. I will be out of the area from Friday through to Monday. Many thanks to Heather McClure for leading our Sunday Gathering on Sunday November 12th.

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