Fall 2011 Letter to the
Seasonal changes are cyclical and in tune with the natural rhythm of the universe. In this month of October, Autumn’s changes in the Northern Hemisphere are becoming apparent. Trees shed their foliage and soon animals begin to prepare for hibernation.
The many stories of our contemporary world also seem to be in tune with the Season of Autumn as the familiar falls away and we find ourselves in an economic, political and spiritual (and Liturgical) transition. While we know change is inevitable, we are frequently taken by surprise when change occurs. Change marks the ending of what has been, the ending of a reality and of an identity. Major endings are, according to William Bridges, accompanied by such factors as denial, shock, anger, frustration/stress and ambivalence. Change happens quickly whereas transition takes place over a period of time.
Change is about altering, replacing or making something different. Transition, on the other hand occurs at a slower pace and is a process that involves time, movement development and acceptance. Transition takes us through the wilderness of not knowing, of feeling lost, of resisting, seeking, struggling and trying to make sense until we begin to emerge with a new found wonder and insight of knowing and identity. If successfully negotiated, transition leads to a new beginning, with fresh vision and a sense of purpose, renewed energy and a new way of being. What is important to remember is that while change is permanent, transition is temporary, in that it provides a bridge between what was and what can be. The manner in which I negotiated change and transition depends on me.
This Advent, we experience the largest single change in the Liturgy since the Roman Missal was changed in 1969. In matters Liturgical, change is seldom welcomed. We become used to our ways. A danger may lurk here. We may become mired in routine and lose the immediacy of the deep contact we should have with God. The new and the unfamiliar provide an opportunity to deepen and nurture our faith as we become more conscience of what we are saying to God in prayer. Fr. Bruce Orsborn will give a presentation on the changes in the Liturgy on Oct. 19th at 7:00PM and another alternate session will be offered by the home team on Sunday Nov. 6th at 12:30PM.
A change brought about by popular demand at the leadership forum (we do listen to your requests as we did for a parish dinner) facilitated our Fall Festivals, it was another outstanding success, We thank Jennifer Rosson, Sarah Romana, and all who helped to make it a great parish event. It took place at the school where the construction of a new building just commenced. This will change the landscape at the school and provide a new facility for both parish and school usage.
No one has experienced change like the families who have lost a loved one this past year. They are still very much in the throes of transition as they learn to cope with a great loss. Join us or a special Liturgy for them on the evening of All Souls, Nov. 2nd at 7:00PM.
As people mature, change is visited upon them and it is the negotiation of the transition that leads to new identity and a happier, fuller life. As the change happens quickly, may the time of transition serve only to deepen our Faith in a fresh appreciation of the Eucharist.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Nicholas P. Clavin,