Dear People of Good Shepherd,
It was a Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, who famously said: “The only constant in life is change.” Indeed. Our lives are full of change and transition.
Transition is, of course, what gets up from one point to another. It is necessary for movement, for progress. We know transitions can be disruptive and disorienting; they are also a time of discovery, growth and even transformation.
In the coming weeks, there are a number of transitions we wish to acknowledge.
The Bishop of Upper South Carolina, the Rt. Rev. Andrew Waldo, is retiring at the end of this year. His visit among us on Sunday, August 15 will be a time to celebrate his ministry and pray for his transition. During his visit, some members of our congregation will be confirmed or received marking a transition in their life of faith. Finally, the delegates of our parish will prepare for a special convention on September 25 to elect the next bishop. We thank Wendy Beers, Jim Knubel, John Love, and Selina Woodard for their willingness to serve as delegates, as well as Elaine & John Ness and Libby & Jim Bradford who have agreed to be alternatives, if needed.
York Place -- the site of the former Episcopal Church Home -- has been in transition for years. Bishop Andrew will share plans for its redevelopment and speak about the Centennial Campaign of the Diocese that in addition to re-envisioning York Place also seeks to strengthen Camp Gravatt and campus ministries throughout the Upstate. We at Good Shepherd hope to support this Campaign and partner with the continuing mission of York Place.
In addition to these churchwide transitions, there are personal transitions de- serving of attention.
Members of Good Shepherd have moved -- some away and some within the area. Members have died. New families have joined the church. There are parishioners who have retired, changed jobs or graduated. Transitions abound.
The Episcopal tradition celebrates a God who is changeless and yet present amidst the changes and chances of life. In fact, we like to mark transitions with ritual and prayer to remind ourselves that change can be the next step toward something that God in God’s great love has prepared for us.
House blessings. Liturgies for members who have moved. Blessings for graduates and retirees. The possibilities abound.
So contact me. Share your transitions and let us consider how best to mark them and to give thanks for God’s unchanging, steadfast care for us in the midst of them.
For God’s love is the ultimate constant in this life and the next.