West Side has been waiting for a new pastor for a long time! Most have been patient. Most have been gracious. Many have stepped up and stepped in to help not only continue our ministries in this community but to even start new ones! Way to go! I think it’s fair to say that finding a new pastor took longer than some people thought. In reality, the search process has been taking about two years in most of the churches I’ve seen lately. Our process took a bit longer because our candidate, Dr. Laurie Brenner, must finish out her previous teaching commitments at Fuller Seminary and Seattle Pacific University. We’ve learned on the front end that Pastor Laurie is a person who keeps commitments and follows through with what she starts—both great qualities in a leader! One thing that helps us to wait for our new pastor is our faith and hope that it’s “worth the wait.”
This is our experience of Advent. We re-enact the drama of waiting and expectation that God’s people, Israel, went through 2000 years ago for the coming of the Messiah. It took longer than anyone thought. Most were patient. Most were gracious. Many stepped up and stepped in to keep faith alive through the generations. And then, finally, the wait was over when Jesus was born—Christmas! The church’s testimony over the past two millennia has been that it’s worth the wait!
We’ll re-enact that same drama again this December. Because we know Jesus, we know it’s worth the wait. Alongside our waiting for Christmas is the final weeks of waiting for our new pastor. Those who know or are getting to know Laurie Brenner know it’s going to be worth the wait!
Just remember, my friends, that Laurie Brenner—wonderfully gifted though she is—isn’t Jesus. Only Jesus is Jesus. She will point us to Jesus, help us to know Jesus better, help us to live more like Jesus and help us introduce others to Jesus. But she’s on the same journey we’re on. So be patient with her and gracious with her. Step up and step in to continue our ministries and start new ministries. And, with her, share the good news of Jesus!
~ Keith Tanis