Texts: Exodus 32:7-14; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-10
But some times are simply not joyful. I dare say that this congregation is in the middle of one of those times now. Last week, we voted to extend a call to fill our staff vacancy at Agnus Dei—a vacancy that has itself caused us some grief and hardship. We grieved when Stephanie resigned, even as we were glad that she was following her calling. We have struggled to settle into a new routine. Over the last year, we’ve seen lots of things change, and not always for the better. The uncertainty over what the future holds and how we might still have to adjust to it have made us anxious.
Last week with the vote, we may have expected to rejoice at that we finally had a path forward; but rejoicing is not exactly what happened. In order to call Sr. Ann, we needed 66% to approve; we got 71%. What that means is that there are a number of people in our community who are not content with the outcome, and that makes it hard to celebrate. As we sat in the meeting, discussing amongst ourselves what course of action to take, I heard a lot of anxiety, a lot of uncertainty. Some didn’t think that this candidate was right for us; others worried that now may not be the time to commit to bringing on another staff person; still others believed that the process was not well explained and felt like the vote was being rushed or forced.