Welcome...and Farewell from Ian Evison
Ian Evison, Congregational Life Consultant, Staff Lead
You who receive—and read—this newsletter are exceptional. I know who you are—as a group—if not as individuals. You are the ones who worry about whether the coffee pot has been turned on, and the heat turned up. You are the ones who say yes, when maybe you should have said no. You are the one who notice the quiet and sometimes courageous unseen contributions others make—and find time to say thanks. You are the ones who have decided to make yourself financial stakeholders. You are the ones who step up to say the uncomfortable thing that needs to be said, and find a way to say them with grace. You are the ones who—when money is tight—remind the congregation that it needs to find a way to hold faithfulness to its larger commitments, including our association. You are the ones who notice which voices are not being included, and find ways to bring them in with warmth and hospitality. You are the ones who help your congregations keep clear that, in the end we all do this work not to serve each other but to serve our larger mission.
There are many times when I have noticed what one of you have contributed, have thought to myself that I really ought to thank you, and then I let myself get busy with something else. In my vision for my better self I would do much more of that. In clearing things out I actually found a number of packets of cards I purchased for that purpose. To all of you, please accept this belated—and rather impersonal—thanks. If any of you have similar ambitions to do a better job of saying thanks, and could use a somewhat dog-eared and dusty but otherwise pristine set of thank-you notes, let me know.
To all, thanks and farewell.