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We Do Not Continue Long in One Stay

Sep 3, 2019

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I have been very aware, especially during the past year, that the word ‘transition’ has been used a great deal.
We seem to be in the midst of a lot of coming and going for many different reasons.

During the 54 years of my ordained ministry I have held 21 different ‘jobs’ – some permanent,some temporary, some within the church, some in institutions (hospitals and schools),some occurring simultaneously with other jobs,some part-time,some full-time – but all ‘transitional’ to a greater or lesser degree.

When I was first ordained I remember my rector saying to me: ‘we all live in the dynamic of the provisional’
He was quoting from Brother Roger Schutz the Prior of Taize.

Somewhere between my experience in priesthood and the teaching of Roger Schutz I have come to understand the truly transitional nature of everything we do. We move from parish to parish,from chaplaincy to chaplaincy,from one kind of ministry to another – and in all of these we meet and depart from numerous people and relationships. We can seldom count on ‘settling down’ – whatever that means.

The one constant in all of this is the presence and reliability of God. It reminds me of driving at night by moon-light. Somehow as we cover miles of road the moon seems to ‘follow’ us and travel through our sky-view with us – keeping pace.

While my relationship with the God I know in Jesus Christ is continually maturing and changing as I age and experience more and more the gift of life, there is a constancy and unvarying sense of God’s presence that lives with me through the ‘changes and chances.’

God is not transitional – the dynamics of my life are. The difference is fundamental to my ultimate security.

Blessings amidst the changes,

From The Rev. Canon John Bolton

Canon Chaplain for Clergy
(404) 402-7599