Pastor Search: We’re looking for a new pastor

 


Welcome to our liminal space!

A Letter from TNC’s Transitional Pastor during Pastor Search

 

Liminal space is a phrase used for the crossing of a threshold, of being in between the finishing of one thing and the start of another. We all know this space: we move away from home for the first time, switch jobs, get engaged, or wait for the Rockies to get back to the World Series—all threshold moments (some longer than others…see Rockies).

Such is the season for the Neighborhood Church after amicably parting ways with their lead pastor last summer. Wisely, they decided not to rush through the door to find the next one. Instead, they have paused, stood at their crossroad in order to look and ask for the good path—just like Jeremiah instructed us to do (6:16).

Over the months they have looked back to see how God has formed them these past 14 years while also dreaming ahead to what new things God is whispering to them. Throughout it all—and this is their superpower—they have remained relationally engaged, enjoying each other’s company and welcoming everyone to the table at every opportunity. I love this about them!

As for me, my happy task is to help shepherd TNC in their liminal space. I’ve done this work before and, so far, this one just feels like pure gift. I think it’s because they have embraced living in this threshold moment. Of course, they are excited (maybe a little anxious) for who will be their next lead pastor. Yet they keep loving each other in the present as if that is the most important thing to do while the search is on. It is.

You may be reading this while in your own liminal space relating to church or faith. If so, you are not alone, not by a long shot. Here’s my pastoral word for you: it might feel safer to wait and see how this all plays out before visiting, but that’s not how faith tends to work. It will always take a step of faith to engage a new community. We’d love to meet you now!

A few of you may be reading this as potential pastoral candidates, and that places you in your own threshold moment. May God lead and guide you toward your next adventure wherever that may be. Know that we are praying for you as we are praying for ourselves.

I’ll close with some threshold wisdom by a favorite writer, John O’Donohue, from his book To Bless the Space Between Us:

To acknowledge and cross a new threshold is always a challenge.

It demands courage and also a sense of trust in whatever is emerging.

No threshold need be a threat, but rather an invitation and a promise.

Whatever comes, the great sacrament of life will remain faithful to us,

blessing us always with visible signs of invisible grace.

We merely need to trust.

Trust away! And may the peace of Christ be with you wherever He may send you.

Dave Meserve
Transitional Pastor, TNC

P.S. The photo of me was taken after being “ashed” by Lindsey, one of our TNC elders (Ash Wednesday, 2023). I appreciate their “relational liturgy” which honors the sacred in both traditional and creative ways.

Dave Meserve, Transitional Pastor