Tag Archives: interim ministry

Best-case scenario

I walked to the church this morning in my usual daze (I’m not exactly a morning person, except when I’m out fishing). It is a beautiful, sunny morning, and everything looks bright and new. For some reason, the church looked especially bright and new….

It took me a couple of minutes to realize exactly why the church looks so bright and new. The last of the landscaping got finished over this past weekend while I was away in New Bedford. This is just about the last of the capital campaign project that restored the exterior of this historic church. And Susan Conant’s landscaping looks fantastic.

As an interim minister, I especially like the new sign. It is much easier to read than the old one — and much more attractive. Passers-by get a much better sense of what this church is — which makes it more likely that they will stop in for a worship service.

Good things happened inside the church while I was away, too. The preschool class made huge paper “mosaic,” the Religious Education bulletin board got updated, and there’s a nice picture and biography of next year’s interim associate minister, Rev. Jennifer Innis.

This is what interim ministers hope for — that our congregations do great things while we’re away.

Interim papacy?

In a news release dated today, the Associated Press reports:

Ratzinger, the oldest pope elected since Clement XII in 1730, clearly was chosen as a “transitional” pope, who would fulfill the unfinished business of John Paul’s quarter-century papacy yet not be another long-term pope.

I had wondered about that. An interim pope — how very interesting.

As an interim minister myself, I’d love to know how the new pope understands his role. Most of us interim ministers understand our role as helping a congregation mourn the previous minister, developing a new identity, and anticipating the future with zest. We interim ministers don’t try to carry on the pet projects of our immediate predecessor. Instead, we work to empower the congregation to take responsibility for its own health, wellbeing, and future success.

Somehow, I think this new interim pope is going to handle things a little differently than I would as an interim minister. However, if he’d like some advice, I’d be happy to share what wisdom I have gained as an interim. Have him call me at the office (just don’t give him my home number, please — waht with the time difference, I don’t need him calling me in the middle of the night).