Goodbye, for now…

I started hinting at this blog post last January when I mentioned in a former blog post that the image of Holy Breadcrumbs may have served its purpose. I began writing under this title in January of 2018 as I became convinced that a new vision for the presbytery was not going to come from a handful of bright, creative visionaries sitting around a boardroom table. I felt strongly that in the current context of ongoing change and uncertainty that a vision was going to have to be teased out.

pathwayRather than having one comprehensive vision out ahead of us, I felt that we would have to arrive at our vision “one holy breadcrumb at a time.” I come with experience in pilgrimages and one of the great lessons from the pilgrim life is one learns to trust the path right in front of our feet without the certainty of knowing where one might get their next meal or lay their head at night.

But today I need to say goodbye, at least for now.

It is now clear that the period of teasing out a vision and loosening the ecclesiastical soil of the presbytery has run its course. It is time now for strategy and planning. It is time to move from a plethora of possibilities to a commitment to specific plans. It is time to turn potential dreams into budget line items.

I will continue to communicate with the presbytery as we move through this time. But I imagine that my communications will fall more in the category of updates, progress reports, as well as attempts at making meaning of our emerging life together.

Woodburn 1I do know that I will continue to write even as my particular voice will shift. All of my pastoral work prior to taking this position was as a solo pastor. The weekly rhythm of scriptural reflection, sermon writing and preaching is in my bones. When I first accepted this position one of the members of the church where I was serving was thrilled for me but also said, “This doesn’t mean you will quit preaching, does it? I can’t imagine you not preaching.” I told him that I would find a way somehow to keep my weekly practice alive. My weekly Holy Breadcrumbs served that purpose.

I enjoy the writing and many of you say you look forward to it weekly. So, I imagine that I will come back at some point under a new title and with a more appropriate theme. Maybe the need will be to share stories of where God is showing up as we step into a new vision. Maybe the need will be to continue to look at the world through the lens of faith and spiritual eyes. Maybe the need will be to continue to provide a hopeful word as the church loses one kind of life on the path to living into a new kind of life.

As with all things pilgrimage-related, however, the landscape changes. Needs shift. The path goes another direction. One thing disappears; another emerges.

So, goodbye, for now.

I’ll see you around the next corner.

By Rev. Brian Heron, Presbyter for Vision and Mission, Presbytery of the Cascades

24 thoughts on “Goodbye, for now…

    1. Thank you, Sandy. I plan to take a pause only for as long as it takes to find where my voice is needed again. Blessings…

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  1. Brian, You have kept many of us going during these tough times, reminding us of “the way” forward. Thank you. I hope we will continue hearing tidbits of reminders now and again.

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    1. Carol, I truly hope that part of reminding us of “the way” forward is also knowing when to back out, take a pause and let the Spirit come to us. I hope that I can be present in my writing absence, however long that takes. Peace…

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  2. I have so enjoyed your blog messages. You words have been a blessing . Thank you for your ministry and prayers for what is around the corner

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    1. Thank you for the prayers, Jill. I have been writing for most of my adult life, so I know that that part won’t go away. I just need to wait to see what shows up around this next corner.

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  3. Brian,
    Breadcrumbs are always the first of my readings in the Cascades Connections Newsletter. New directions lead to new inspirations. Looking forward to hearing again from you soon.

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    1. Terry, Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate the understanding of “new directions lead to new inspirations.” We are turning a major corner in the presbytery and I need to wait for the new inspiration to appear as we embark on another stage of this journey.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your writings. I will now look forward to your return and wish you well until then.
    Thursday mornings was my time to read under my favorite oak down here in Creswell while sipping a latte. I would read Holy Breadcrumbs, Nicholas Kristof, and others in Thursdays Oregonian. It was a weekly ritual.
    You kept adding snippets along the way like your time a College of Idaho. We spent 20 years in Pendleton and I enjoyed my outings to the College for Synod School.
    I may not have provided much feedback, but your reads were always helpful and thoughtful.
    Thank you and best wishes
    En paz
    Bill Griffith Jr

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    1. Bill, this makes it all the harder knowing that there are people like you who make this a regular part of your spiritual reflection. I know that I will return. I wrote for 40 months to “tease out the new vision” of the presbytery. That is now happening. Now I need to wait for God to direct my pen (or fingers) in a new direction. I love the image of you under the oak tree with the latte and your favorite writers. Rich!

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  5. Thank you, Brian, for all you have written. I will miss Holy Breadcrumbs, but look forward to any future writings.

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    1. Thank you,, Marcia. It feels strange to step away for a time, but I have to trust that my voice will come back in some form when the time is right again. Peace…

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  6. Brian, My best to you as your ministry moves toward new areas to serve. Your intellectual and theological Honesty and Courage regarding what you believe (or have difficulty in believing) is very rare and valuable. During your time at Yachats Presbyterian I learned and enlarged my own personal understanding regarding my religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) and credit you with teaching me about the difference between “thinking” about religious concepts and “experiencing” religious concepts. If the Presbyterian church is to survive there must always be a wide area of freedom to both “think” and “experience”. I now live in a Senior Center in Forest Grove Oregon, and at the age of 86 I don’t attend church any more, but I still remain active in the “Cease Fire Oregon” gun safety movement to rid our state of Military Style Assault weapons. You have much to contribute for the future and I look forward to your future blog efforts. (Herman Welch—Past Elder at Yachats Presbyterian.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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    1. Herman,
      Thank you so much for your comments. I have largely trusted Jesus words, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” as a guide to how I preach and pastor. I am less concerned about how hard a truth is than I am whether it is true.
      I am grateful for the time we had together and the “wrestling” we did as a church to be as faithful to God’s mission as possible in Yachats.
      Blessings to you…
      Brian

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  7. Gone too soon! I was only introduced to your writings a couple months ago and have appreciated your perspective. May your new inspired path be revealed soon.

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