With all changes that are happening right now it would be easy to get the impression that something is wrong, but this is not the case at all. One third of the vestry changes every year and it just happens that both my term as well as Cynthia’s is about to be completed. Change seems to me to be normal and a good thing as it has the effect of renewal and passing leadership naturally. Unlike after a political election, there will be continuation of our presence and whomever is elected will get the same benefits that the two of us had, some guidance from those who held the office immediately prior to our election as wardens of the church. I have completely enjoyed my time on the vestry and have been blessed to be able to work with someone as caring and competent as Cynthia.
Like Cynthia said recently, we have not always agreed on everything, but we are after all Episcopalians, and our faith has given us the ability to seek to understand why we disagree. When we have disagreed, which wasn’t that often, we actively listened to each other and that listening did not include trying to counter the reasons for our disagreement. Bishop Breidenthal visited us a couple of weeks ago to have a dialog on our differing views about the open table. He listened very intently to everyone’s comments and he also participated in expressing his views. I believe that everyone in attendance listened very actively to what he was saying. This was a true dialog and not a debate. Dialog is how you move to the center. May we all continue to actively listen to each other and may the national political arena become more like the Episcopal Church in actively listening, trying to understand our differences, and seeking that middle ground where everyone can exist.
~Michael Harbin, Junior Warden