Rev. Ginger called to Connecticut
Dearest Pilgrims, Long ago, close friends and I vowed that we would remain open to the nudging, calling, urging of the Spirit. This commitment meant that we would always entertain the idea of moving to new places of ministry. Several times the Spirit has knocked, if you will. I have prayed, listened, and discerned it was not time for a move. Several months ago there was a change.
Through an odd and quick swirl of events, I have been called to, and agreed to serve, First Congregational Church of Guilford, Connecticut.
Guilford is the hometown of Kate Bartlett and just fifteen miles away from New Haven, which is famous for educating many Pilgrims, but even more famous for being the home area of Marion Stanley.
October 11 will be my last day at Pilgrim. Unfortunately for our Pilgrim community, I am taking Milton, Rachel, and the pups, too. (Although Rachel may seek winter respite in some of your homes!)
Eight summers ago on a very hot evening, I was preparing to interview. As I sat in the columbarium praying, Walt Langston greeted me. He made sure the stranger on the grounds was okay and welcomed. Soon he realized I was there to meet the search committee and politely excused himself. What a lovely first encounter with Pilgrim.
Through the years, I have encountered many wonderful Pilgrims and have experienced holy moments too numerous to name. Walking with you through challenging life circumstances and justice-seeking practices has made my life richer. Thank you for allowing me such privileges.
Of course, I am deeply grateful for the ways you offered me care and love as my heart broke and my life changed when my father died. Thank you for embracing my mother as she not only moved from her hometown for the first time in her life, but lost her spouse of fifty-five years. Thank you for caring for Milton as he joined many of us in knowing life without a father. I am grateful for the ways Pilgrims spring into action to care for one another during life’s transitions.
I can’t imagine leaving Durham, but I know I leave this treasured and incredible town in your care…
I feel confident in the health of Pilgrim and your ability to continue integrating newer folks. I know we will always seek justice and continue practicing how to best hear and respect each voice.
As our by-laws state, the Deacons will recommend an interim minister to assist us during the time of transition. The Southern Conference is now aware of our need and will have names to offer alongside other candidates.
I will continue to pray for you to feel loved, welcomed, and wanted and for current clergy, the wonderful Rev. Mandy Mizelle, and clergy-to-come to lead and celebrate life with you. Peace, Ginger
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