On the other end of the scale, that of long periods of stability, we might categorize parishes that haven't undergone a considerable challenge to its ministry in the last three or five years, or perhaps those whose leadership has remained more or less constant and without significant new vision for several years. As a result, the parish or its leadership might become too comfortable, to the point where worship, programs and ways of doing things become 'tradition' or 'the way we do it here', so much so that new comers are excluded and new ideas are discouraged resulting either in frustration or oppression.
The middle way--the via media if you will--is the realm of intermediate disturbance. It's a place where a happy medium between stability and change is found; where traditions and leadership is allowed to continue to be, but not without regular opportunity to be challenged by new ideas and new leaders. To find this place is probably not an easy thing to do--for it requires a great amount of work, humility and discernment. All of these are considerable challenges for the majority of us who, for of any number of reasons, are more likely to be content to stay in the comfortable place of stability.
I think the time is nearing for me to move from Trinity to the next chapter--to take what I have learned, and despite all the comforts Trinity may offer, to look forward to the next challenge, that of professional ministry.
My Intention to Graduate form arrived in the mail the other day. With it begins a gradual process that won't fully reach its conclusion until such a time when I step upon a stage to receive a rolled up piece of blank foolscap, symbolizing my efforts, learning and growth in the past three years. It's a happy time, a reflective time, a discernment time; yet I know that in order to continuing growing, it's also time for the comfortable academic place in which I live to be disturbed.
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