Transformation in the Wilderness
May 1, 2018
For the past several years, we have been a community in transition. We have been a community on a journey together to the next chapter of our congregation’s future. We have been a community in the wilderness, knowing that we cannot remain in our previous location, but not yet knowing where our next spiritual home will be.
Friends, we aren’t there yet, but we are beginning to see the Promised Land. The final details of a merger with Temple Beth Or are coming into focus. We have our eyes on a piece of property that will better fit our community’s needs, providing space for worship, study, and gathering as a community. We are starting to define the contours of our future, as the shape of our next iteration as a community becomes clearer and clearer.
Our ancestors wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. It hasn’t taken us that long! (Although I will confess sometimes it felt that way.) Their wilderness experience was a time of transition for them: they came out from Egypt, they received the Torah at Mount Sinai, they learned how to create a Mishkan, a portable sanctuary, and they created communal practices and societal norms to govern how to live together. They became a true community, the People of Israel.
We have been undergoing transformation, too. Our listening sessions and community workshops helped us define what was important to our congregation. Our shared principles were enshrined in a new Mission Statement and translated into an action plan, which we have followed like the North Star. These guidelines have governed how we have moved forward, not only in real estate and congregational partnerships, but in our governance, our worship, and our education program. We have honed the sacred skill of building community
We’re not there yet. There is much still to be done to write our next chapter. But our time in the wilderness has been beneficial, and I believe we are ready to move forward. Our perpetual journey of Jewish living and learning in community continues. May we go from strength to strength!
By Rabbi David Widzer