In times of transition, life can move so quickly, and so slowly, all at the same time. As we continue living into staffing transitions, I wanted to share these updates, which are part of the ongoing conversations among Jim, myself and the Personnel Committee as we discern God’s leading in and among the congregation.
Jim and I are proposing that my current position – Minister of Christian Formation – be divided into two part-time positions. Beginning January 1, Reverend Carolyn Matthews has agreed to become Lakeshore’s Pastor of Christian Formation, taking on the faith formation ministries in the congregation that I currently oversee, including leadership in our ongoing weekly and seasonal programing. My new position will be Pastor of Public Witness, with the dual roles of representing Lakeshore’s commitment to justice and mercy in the community, as well as encouraging the congregation to participate in the broader mission of community justice ministries.
There are a multitude of opportunities to engage in public witness, but the current focus of this new position will be on the work of witness and advocacy in Lakeshore’s local commitment to immigration justice, our global commitment for a just peace in the Holy Land, and the intersectional justice work for a World Without Walls. It also will include oversight of Justice Jams, working with our Sanctuary Working Group and other congregational opportunities for education and engagement.
This position also will allow me to network with Lakeshore’s various partner organizations in this work, including Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, the Alliance of Baptists, Evergreen Baptist Association and American Baptist Churches, USA. As an example of these partnerships, in my travels to Bethlehem I was asked to represent Evergreen, share the commitment to solidarity from ABC-USA and serve as the Alliance’s Palestine Advocacy Representative. These partnerships allow me to share our larger Baptist commitments to justice and freedom, as well as provide outlets to share ways our larger communities can engage in solidarity and partnership.
As my ministry at Lakeshore continues to evolve, I am deeply grateful to be in this work together, both as your Pastor of Public Witness and as a fellow follower of Jesus seeking to embody “good news” for our world.
Blessings on the journey,