I went outside yesterday and needed a jacket; I didn’t have one, but I needed one. The weather had changed dramatically – as it always does this time of year – and suddenly the church’s plans for installing A/C were not as urgent. (Don’t worry; it’ll be here by next summer). That’s another big change: we’ve brought in the Chicago Academy of Music and their delicious Fabiana’s Bakery, which has students lining up Monday-Saturday, 8am-6pm. That meant some indoor curb appeal changes needed to happen, new paint everywhere, a renovated computer lab upstairs (teaching youth social media so they can teach adults…EVERY SATURDAY!)…change.
Change means loss (every. single. time) and loss means adjusting.

(You think I’m talking about the church still, huh? I’m talking about YOU)

Changes have happened in your life over the past season or so. Did you mourn them? Celebrate them? Ignore them? Spend a moment reflecting on what this summer meant for you – map out the CHANGES – and give the losses their proper due. Even the new gains are losses of something else. A couple in our church just had a baby (loss of sleep); someone else got a new hip (loss of that assistance-walker!); and a few new students started college and seminary (loss of HOME). Be sure to note the GAIN and the LOSS in each change you note for yourself.

Part of this is the ability to authentically-and-without-apology grieve and celebrate in the same skin. As our church celebrated the life of Irving Bunton a couple weeks ago, I thought about that. I think about it when I do pre-marital counseling and ask, “What are you going to lose in this that you might miss?” (Maybe a buzzkill 🙂 I’ll tell you why that question is so important one day)…I even think about this Lord’s Prayer Series we’re in now (This Sunday: “FORGIVE US OUR ____”) and how even in preaching this I have lost how I traditionally view what John Dominic Crossan calls “The Greatest Prayer.”

Another part of this is recognizing that all of this change in your life (our life) is inevitable. Just like when the cold comes – we grab a jacket and go. We mourn the summer past and adjust to the new, very real reality. We do our best…and the cold comes. Change is not a way of ruining your nice stability; it’s a guarantee of the seasons that prune, wither, and ultimately grow us. Change is AWESOME (literally, you should be in AWE of how much you’ve changed over the past…hmm…5 years???)

I picked 5 because that’s my wedding anniversary on October 2nd…which means 5 years as your pastor is 6 weeks away. Changed much? I certainly have. And that’s a good thing. Let’s change some more, and have all our lunch meetings at Fabiana’s Bakery.

2 Responses to Change, As Promised…
  1. I am impressed with the new changes at University Church. i feel i’ve lost something not being there to celebrate them with you. I celebrate the changes I’ve made creating a new home for myself in Cleveland.

  2. When the UC newsletter popped up today, I had a wave of remembrance – walking into the warm and Mattie and Ruby standing there with smiles on their faces. Irving was WONDERFUL. Every Sunday was a musical adventure. I will never forget Regina singing, especially one summer Sunday, when she sang a song about a white bird (?) In which I was transported out of the church with an out of body experience. I honestly cannot remember the context of the song, but it was a MOMENT. And such was my life within the community of University Church. Thanks everyone!


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