WES Blog — Interim Ministry

“Interim ministry engages with the downsides and upsides of life, of change. It builds a bridge from what was to what will be.

During the next several months, I am reminding myself that I must “trust the process.” The work of an interim religious educator is multi-faceted. First, I must make observations and assessments of the community, our programs, and our mission. Next, I am engaged in collaboration with all of you around the sustainability of programs, stabilizing programs, and envisioning a new future. Also, I am called to be a leader that can experiment with you all as we lay the groundwork for a dynamic future. The last piece of my work at WES will be putting the systems and infrastructure in place so that your next Director of Lifelong Learning will be poised for success. This work is intentional and deliberate, led by the WES community, and confirmed by the evidence of vibrant relationships and programs.

In the short-term, we are stabilizing our programs, developing new leadership, and empowering our volunteers. Over the next 15 months, we will be training, visioning, and implementing new policies and procedures. The last piece of our work, which will begin next Spring, is envisioning the next leader through our search process.

Along the way, we will become engineers and architects of an exciting new future, managing the peaks and valleys of change, together. There will be bumps along the way, growing pains, and celebration. Through it all, remember, trust the process.

Amanda and I are engaged in interim training. I am becoming a student of interim work and completing several professional development opportunities so that I can bring the best to the WES community. Currently, I am working through an interim workbook so that we can refine our short term and long-term goals. Really, being an interim religious educator is holding two full-time jobs: continuing the current work of our programming and outreach while also making a full assessment and beginning to implement some changes. It is imperative that I have a deep understanding of our programming and community from a 30,000-foot view while also being the boots on the ground. Thank you in advance for your patience.

A large part of this work is rooted in collaboration and the development of healthy relationships in authentic, right alignment. To that end, we have been excited to launch our Wednesdays at WES experiment as a collaboration between our educational programs and music programs. I am excited to see what else emerges from our community.  

“[The interim period] invites us to come together to grow more wholly, more fully, human; to become more truly who we are; to encounter the meaning of being alive.” 

Remember: this is a time to slow things down a bit so we can have a full view, a 360 of what we’re doing here at WES. We are working together to understand to what we have been called. We are visionaries considering what is needed for our community and for our neighborhood. As we vision, it is also my job to ask hard questions about why we have always done things a particular way and invite conversations about how (if at all) we may be able to do things differently. This period is an opportunity for us to look at all of our programs from the inside-out, from top-to-bottom. We are leaning into the understanding of who we are now and who we wish to become. Needless to say, this is not easy work but it is transformative.

My invitation is simple: let’s be bridge builders! Be engaged and stay committed. But most of all, trust the process.

With love and in solidarity,