What’s Up with Pastor Todd 2-12-21

What’s Up with Pastor Todd 2-12-21

The GUCCI (Granby United Church of Christ Initiative) team has been using a marriage metaphor to describe the collaboration/consolidation process we are imagining. 

In the book Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work the “marriage model” is one of four consolidation models that the authors describe. Here’s what they say about the marriage model: 

“Marriage mergers occur when two comparable churches, similar in size and/or health realign with each other under a united vision and new leadership configuration. Marriage mergers in churches are a lot like a marriage of two people coming together as one bringing strengths, and liabilities to the new entity. and like a lot of human marriages churches coming together may have some difficulties, but they can work through them.”

This seems to pretty accurately describe our situation. In this metaphor, as I understand it, the past three years of Union Services and GUCCI meetings and other joint efforts could be described as “dating.”

The vote this coming Sunday is to “get engaged.” No metaphor is perfect. Different folks will have different understandings of what it means to “get engaged.” The important thing to keep in mind is that getting engaged is NOT the same thing as getting married. It’s a commitment that the parties will make whole-hearted and good faith preparations for making public and sacred vows of union.

So engagement is serious, but it doesn’t mean the marriage is a done deal. Even with the best of efforts things can fall apart. That’s OK. There’s no way to know for certain beforehand, but if we proceed with openness and honesty we can walk this journey together and find some blessing in it regardless of the outcome. 

My wife, Nicole, and I are both children of divorced parents. We approached our engagement with few illusions. I asked Nicole to marry me Valentine’s Day (I know, so cliche) 1996. She said, “Yes.” Afterward we had a very serious but honest conversation about our expectations for our engagement and anticipated marriage. Nicole said to me, “This means that whatever happens, we do it together.” Fast forward, this year we are getting ready to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. 

That’s my understanding of the step we as churches are being invited to take. What’s yours?

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