I want to sketch out here what I see to be Bethesda-by-the-Sea’s direction in the immediate future.
First, the interim period is nearly over. In the very near future, the Search Committee will have finished their outstanding work and the Vestry will announce who the next Rector will be. As we ready ourselves for that new ministry, it’s nice to say that we’re growing, attracting new people and welcoming people home.
Second, worship is primary. This is the distinctive, life-changing, life-strengthening work of Christians. The particular grace which is ours is to have a diverse congregation that welcomes and is nourished by the beauty of Anglican liturgy and music. With the Prayer Book as our anchor, and the exquisite setting and quality of the church and chapel, the organ, and the people who make music, our worship compels us to move into our larger world to serve in Christ’s name.
Third, this is the time for consolidation. We can’t help being pulled into new things, but clearly the energy in the parish is “time-honored and deepward” — getting more deeply into the faith and into the caring for one another that is time-honored, valued over the generations. We are always trying to do better what we are already clearly called to do.
So for the short run we can aim for the “same but better” whenever we can. And as we look to the calling of a new rector, the future is God’s surprise.