A Season of Transition

Sarah SmithCliffNotes, Frontpage News

Dear Christ Church,

As I met with Cliff and the Vestry almost four years ago to discuss being the Christ Church intern, I had to ask, “Do you really want a 30-year-old mom of two as your intern?” When I thought “intern”, images of fresh faces, uncomplicated lives, and boundless energy spring into view. I was eight months pregnant with our second child, Anna, and did not see myself in any of those images. Was this crazy?

Fast forward to today and I’m still not sure it wasn’t crazy. But it was good.

Now eight months pregnant with our third child, my time on staff ends with labor on my mind. Yes, the labor that is obviously in my future, but also, I consider the labor of these past three years. Our parish herself has been undergoing quite a bit of labor in this season! “Transition” is known as the most challenging part of the birthing process. It’s the time you’re most tempted to wonder if you’re going to make it to the other side.

We’ve undergone a season of transition together. They say during transition you must rely on the people around you heavily, and that is what we’ve done! I am thankful for the many men, women, and kiddos who have joined our parish during this season, encountered the presence of God, and dug deeply into community and worship. I am thankful for staff teams of past and present, who have listened to God’s voice, made hard decisions, loved well, and led with grace and humility into the unknown. Finally, I am thankful for the many parishioners I’ve had the privilege of serving alongside. Your commitment to the Lord and one another is radiant, and the ways in which you take up the towel and wash feet – including my own – is humbling and has challenged me in all the right ways.

The stage after transition is – thank you Jesus! – pushing. We have already begun to pivot toward that stage. God is not asking of our body something cruel or superhuman, but is allowing our body to do that which it has been prepared for. We’re learning to love where we live. We’re considering strategic plans as we look to moving into our Medina neighborhood and to the future of our parish. We’re welcoming new staff and anticipating arrivals.

This parish has a legacy, and I’m thankful to not only have been a part of it, but to continue in it with you. It’s going to be good.

Grace and peace,