I entitled my first column as your new Interim, “A Bridge Across”. Borrowing from one of our NYC visits Karen and I had made with our daughter, Emily, I included a personal photograph of the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s still pictured most weeks, as above. On the surface, my photo is like countless tourists’ photographs of this iconic landmark, snapped at this very same vantage point on the Brooklyn side of the East River.
My photograph is unique, not in its visuals but in memories it brings to us from that weekend visit. Same viewpoint, same vista, different meanings; interim transitions are like that for congregations. What has this interim passage meant for you so far? You likely have much in common with other members of UBC in their experience of our ‘interim bridge across.’ You’ll also have your unique take on these past nine months.
There’s a further twist of the bridge metaphor to consider. We’re constructing this bridge as we go (with only the vaguest notion in the beginning of where lies the other shore!). Lots of Baptist folks have done the same work. We’ve benefited from their gathered, sifted, and refined experience. However, this is UBC’s bridge with our own labor invested, and our own shoreline to find.
When you’ve got your head down hard at work, how do you know when you’re at least midway across the interim bridge or even further along? I think it’s one of those, “I’ll know it when I see it.” sorts of things.
Listening to Dr. Bill Wilson’s several presentations this past Sunday morning, it clicked for me: we’re into the second half of our interim construction project. I believe I see the other shoreline coming into view, still somewhat indeterminate in detail, but it’s taking shape.
On this Wednesday evening, January 25, at 6:00 pm, I’m hosting us in a shared time of assessing where we are. My title for the evening clues you in on where I think we are: “On the Backside of the Bridge.” That’s where I think we are.
During this Wednesday evening’s program, we’ll revisit some of Bill’s bullet points from his January 15 presentations. We’ll unpack some of what he told us, not only about ourselves, but what he described of this time and place in America for churches like UBC. I hope you’ll make a point of adding your view from this ‘interim bridge’ we’ve been building on together.
Your Senior Minister in the Interim,