December 11, 2020

Dear Church family,
It is wonderful to be here at First Congregational Church of Bristol beginning our journey of faith and mutual ministry. Having begun my duties on November 2, 2020 I am feeling welcomed and deeply blessed to serve God in this place. These first six weeks have provided a bit of time for me to become acquainted with many of you in worship, board meetings, and zoom gatherings. Learning about how FCC functions, connecting with members and friends and learning names are a priority for these early months.
I have been impressed with the core leadership teams and numerous ministries. I am also grateful to hear that you are embracing the healing journey as an important next chapter in the life of this church. You have a talented and dedicated staff and leadership team who are a source of wisdom and blessing to this community.

The work of a designated term ministry is a rich and unique opportunity for growth in a church. In addition to the traditional tasks of leadership in worship, presiding at the sacramental life, and supporting the programmatic and education work and overseeing administrative aspects of church there are three developmental tasks that will focus the work unfolding in our midst.

  • Coming to Terms with History, which includes healing and wholeness of the congregation.
  • Supporting Leadership and its development.
  • Discerning God’s purpose for the congregation.

Each successive task builds on the work of the previous and can provide a clear sense of God’s call for partnership as we move into the future. Opening to the work of Holy Spirit is indeed a journey that blends many elements: intentional work and consensus building, spiritual growth, discerning a common path while celebrating the gifts of this beautifully diverse family of faith. The process of seeing where you have been, where you are now, and where you sense God calling you into the future is essential and sacred work. But we do not walk alone. We are emboldened by the assurance of faith that the Apostle Paul offers in Philippians 4:13 “We can do all things in Christ who strengths us” (adapted.) I am excited and grateful for this opportunity to travel this journey with you.

Rev. Deborah

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