President’s Perspective – Moving through the Year(s)

By Mindy McPherson, 2019-20 President

September marked the beginning of our church year. Are you feeling the energy surge flow through our community? Kids tumbling down the stairs for religious education. The music ministry swinging into high gear. Connections within our community being (re)established and nurtured. We’re moving to the rhythm of our congregational ministry.

The natural world, likewise, is moving to the rhythm of the seasons: autumn, winter, spring and summer. Do you have a favorite? There is something that I love about each “distinct” time of year, but I particularly enjoy the transition from one season to another. I’m still waiting for the hot, steamy, late-Missouri summer to give way to crisp, cool nights, though I have started to see a few leaves turning maroon around the edges.

The seasonal changes, or the flip of the calendar, might suggest a time to start anew, to steady ourselves amidst change or to chart a new course. We reflect on the work of the past and move forward, adjusting our path or setting set new goals and intentions. The transitions can be exciting, filled with anticipation and intrigue. They can also be busy, overwhelming and stressful, as we strive to find a balance and maintain our focus.

For me and my family, as well as many in our church community, September carried us deeper into the academic calendar. Parenting Schweitzer-aged children and being immersed in the world of higher education, I’m in a swirl of pedagogical thoughts and plans. I’m working to model, and encourage the development of, a growth mindset for my children and my students. Ask questions, dig for deeper understanding, revisit lessons with new perspectives, and continue developing as lifelong learners.

As we push through the transition to fall, we must take this opportunity to reflect upon our collective growth mindset and the work of our church community. Together we can use this seasonal change, this start of our church year, as an opportunity to ensure that our goals are set and our focus is sharp.
I encourage you to re-examine our mission and vision. Reflect upon our past intentions and efforts. Consider how we can challenge ourselves and work together as a multigenerational community committed to our own growth and committed to sparking growth in the wider world.