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  1. Thanks for this wonderful reflection on Methodist itineracy – speaking as someone on the other side of this dilemma – it can be really hard leaving a congregation you love and handing over the reigns to another pastor, not knowing what might happen. It’s also hard coming into a new church having to learn all the new names, faces and old traditions, while also challenging the congregation go grow faithfully in new directions. For both clergy and lay, itineracy is a experience of grace knowing that God’s power and presence extends far beyond our attempts to be “in control.” Prayers for your family, your congregation, and for the clergy (outgoing and incoming) in the midst of this transition.

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    1. Thanks, Mark, for the reply to the post. The ‘tween’ time is especially hard for both clergy and laity. But thank God for the grieving–it reminds us how valuable was that time in our lives together; and thank God for the anticipation–the hope, the excitement in the new adventures ahead. Both are wrought with stress, but indeed, as Joel pointed out so well, the itinerant system helps us remain Christ-centered, rather than fraught with pastor-centeredness. The going out and the coming in are tender times for all involved, and Christ himself calls us to be compassionate in all things.

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