Can you believe it has been two years that we have
lived and ministered together? For me, at least, it has gone
fast. And yet, I think that we’ve been doing well at adjusting to one another. A colleague once told me that her first year
she could do nothing wrong, her second year she could do nothing right, and year three was when they began to trust
While I certainly don’t think that my last year was near that rough, there is something about
it taking time to settle in with one another.
I’m always aware of the very real fact that ARC had several lifetimes before I arrived, and by God’s grace will have several more lifetimes after we are all gone from this earth. And I never take lightly that with which you have entrusted me, to help shepherd this community during this season (however long that season may be). I am always aware of the fact that I am different from the pastor to whom you became accustomed. Different isn’t always bad, but just different. But different takes adjustment for both of us, as you adjust to my particular strengths and interests and quirks, and I adjust to what you need most from a pastor.
I am also aware that this past year as brought some changes, as well. Little changes -- tweaks here and there -- but they are never done lightly or quickly. And I appreciate your openness to new things and flexibility as we grow together. I appreciate your patience with me as I continue to adapt to what ARC needs from a pastor, and as I challenge, a bit, as we seek to continue to grow together. I appreciate your openness to my service with the broader church and with academia as I live into my calling as a pastor-theologian here at ARC.
I know that the adjustment isn’t always easy. But I’ve said this before, that if we commit to growing together and ministering together, we can continue to do great things. This congregation and community have been a blessing to our whole family. We are so grateful for your care and your embrace of all of us. We are so very fortunate to be here, and thankful for all of you. (And I still haven’t adjusted to the roads that don’t go straight or meet at right angles. I’m also thankful for GPS that [usually] can get me to where I need to go)
With deep and abiding love,
The Rev. Matthew J. van Maastricht
Pastor and Teacher