Hi, my name is Nobuko (try it a few times, Noh-boo’-koh-- make mistakes in the pronunciation…it’s okay, I probably won’t get your names right either!)
Let’s talk. No really. Let’s talk. Let’s talk over coffee. Let’s talk during worship. Let’s talk about the past, the present and the future. Let’s talk about what has made Eastside so important to you. And yes, of course many of you will have stories to share. And I’m excited about coming to Eastside to hear your stories: stories of faith, stories of passion, stories of wonder, stories about the times when you have touched and caught a glimpse of the holy, and times when you have not. And yes, of course it will be different without Dawn Rolke.
It was actually at a Grey Cup Gathering this year that I heard that Dawn had asked for a change in pastoral relations. When I heard this, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. There have only been a few times in my life when I have been absolutely certain of God’s calling to a particular place in a particular time. This is one of them.
I am proud to be working with you folks. I think you, and the Living Spirit Centre are doing something remarkable, powerful, progressive. You are following the steps of Jesus in a way that is different from most other congregations. You are an affirming congregation. You have a wide variety of ministries open to a wide variety of peoples.
In our two year interim ministry together, we will try to do a few things: first, the transition team will work to lead us through the goals set by you, the congregation; second, since I know that Dawn is a gifted liturgist, when people say, “it’s different now”, (after 12 years) we will acknowledge that this is absolutely true. Mainly, my job is to help you share your stories so that you will begin to discern what direction the spirit is calling you now, and help you to prepare for a new permanent minister. I hope together we can share your stories, have a rich and fulfilling transition period from strong ministry to future strong ministries, and smooth out some bumps along the way.
Blessings to you all.
Nobuko (really, try it—try it in the privacy of your bathroom first, if you’d like!)