This summer hasn’t felt like much of a summer to me at all. DPS starts next week, and somehow my kids and I have not done any of the things we usually do in the summer. I’ve missed those quintessential summer activities that I’ve loved sharing with them: trips to the zoo, the pool, the mountains. I’m not exactly complaining – we spent two weeks together in Africa, for heaven’s sake – yet, the marked change from summers past has me feeling unsettled, maybe even a little sad.

Change can do that for us, even when the change itself isn’t a bad thing. My kids are growing up – so life is different with them. It’s exciting to see them become adults – but sometimes I’m sad to let go of what was.

The same can be true for our faith community at Highlands Church. In four weeks we will celebrate our TENTH anniversary together! Beyond the number ten being a nice, round number, there’s something more to this anniversary which makes it feel significant. We are growing up as a community. We’re no longer a brand new, start-up church. We are moving into new phases of maturity: recognizing some of the very best things about us, and noticing where we need to continue to grow.

And this means we’ll experience change in some places. Some of us crave and thrive on change. But all of us, in some ways, experience grief when things change because change necessarily means the end of one thing as it marks the beginning of the next.

I think we forget that it’s ok to feel both excitement and grief when things that matter to us change. Humans are quite capable of living in the paradox of feeling two things at once. As we adjust to having our founding co-pastor, Mark Tidd, available to us one week per month, it’s both a time of celebration for this new chapter of his life, and grief for the loss we feel from his absence.

There’s something important about staying present in the midst of change. To listen, feel, and communicate our hopes for the future – this is what it means to navigate change as a community. What lies ahead for Highlands Church in the next decade? We aren’t sure yet of what all God has in store for us. But we are sure God is leading us; and that any change ahead, while maybe difficult, will be necessary to keep us moving along the journey of God’s calling.

I’m so grateful you’re on this journey, too! Make your plans now to join us on September 8th as we celebrate 10 years with a BBQ after the 10:00 service!

With Hope,

Rachael