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Newsyletter: From the Pastors

This note from the General Presbyter of Hudson River Presbytery is an inspiring message for us as we enter this very different fall season in our church life. Deborah Milcarek is a Ruling Elder who has spent her church career as a church educator, social activist, and presbytery staff member. She has been the General Presbyter of HRP since October 2018. HRP will be meeting by Zoom for the second time this year on September 22, 2020. Bob Beams and Sheila O’Donnell are the Union Church representatives to this body.

From Deborah Milcarek, September 3, 2020

“There is a sweet spot between the known and the unknown where originality happens; the key is to be able to linger there without panicking.” —Ed Catmull (Pixar)

Are you tired? It is exhausting trying to maintain what we knew while moving toward that which is not clear. We moved together through a crisis. In April, we had no idea that this pandemic would still be an issue. And here we are. Dwelling in a liminal season; neither here nor there. A place that, one might argue, we were in before we even heard the word “Covid”. A liminal time.

The Church (Big C) is in transition. The author and consultant Susan Beaumont (How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going) would note that transitional times have predictable phases:

1) Separation: A period where an organization loses the identity and status that previously defined it

2) Liminal Period: A disorienting period of non-structure that opens new possibilities

3) Reorientation: A reforming period where a new identity is adopted and new, more appropriate structures are designed

The Bible has many examples of liminal times. Noah, Ruth, Abraham, Sarah, Paul, Christ himself. And yet we journey on.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. God will not leave you or forsake you. — Deuteronomy 31:6

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