“We need to talk.” The four most dreaded words in human relationships, right? Spouse to spouse, fading romantic partner to hopeful romantic partner, supervisor to supervisee, leadership transition team to the congregation, God to any of us. The “need” to “talk” usually signals a conversation the target talkee would rather avoid. The accompanying emoticon would be something like :/.
“We need to talk!” The four most eager words in human relationships, maybe? Yes! Between old friends missing each other, the family member bursting with good news for another family member, coworker to coworker anticipating a job move, leadership transition team to its congregation, God to any of us. The “need” to “talk” says, “Let’s find a good place and time and make it happen!” The emoticon this time around would be 😀 .
The LTT is asking you to join them in what they hope will be the latter, a broadly smiling kind of conversation. You, they, and I will talk about University Baptist Church and your priorities for your church. The conversation will be about describing qualities you value in the next Senior Minister. There will be discussion about the congregation’s share of the work ahead with whomever God should lead to Charlottesville as UBC’s next Senior Minister.
I can’t tell anyone how or what they should feel; so, most definitely, do not give me happy and eager, if in fact your true response is angry and bothered, which it may very well be. There’s been some tough sledding for the congregation, hasn’t there? There have been meetings, surveys, and voluminous reports full of stats and descriptions. You wonder whether change is afoot and if those changes will be to your liking.
For those of us in this second, displeased group, a simple emoticon doesn’t begin to say what we would, if we could, put into words. But, either of these two conversations to which the LTT is inviting everyone is meant for you, too. The LTT and I hope to help everyone put into words their feelings, thoughts, and recommendations.
These last two weeks, I’ve written of each one testifying, offering the stewardship of your Christ-self. These gatherings are the venue for you to offer your best, honest witness in the most responsible way you know to do that. What you will add is the continuity of your participation and the creativity of your desires for UBC.
Please bring what you should bring, in the Lord’s leading, to one or the other of these essential meetings. Do it for the well-being of our congregation in serving the larger call of God for University Baptist Church.
~Your Senior Minister in the Interim,