Last week I heard about your appointment, and I was thrilled. I wanted to write to congratulate you and to offer prayerful words as you transition to your next post.
Someone I love and trust told me that transitions can feel like walking on shifting grounds, like nothing is as familiar. You once said in a class that it takes the brain up to three years to adjust to major life changes.
I hope that as you change roles, as you assume your next set of responsibilities, that your feet will find sure ground, that what’s under your feet will be steady grace and hope-filled promise that comes from God.
I hope that you will feel ready for your new role and that everyone around you, those you really listen to, will reflect that readiness, will encourage you for your journey, and will become supporters of you on that path.
I hope that your habits, your spiritual disciplines, will train you toward a nourishing faith so that you can sense how large God is in the face of daunting challenges and uncertain tomorrows.
I hope that all of your yesterdays with the Seminary will combine to give you real space to see a splendid future.
I hope that your work with the Board, the faculty, and the students will be more and more fruitful, increasingly powerful, and meaningful for the world, for the church, for the Chicago area, and the community of Evanston.
I hope you will be able to accomplish the goals that you and the community determines is best for you as an administrator, that the next academic dean will support the same, and that, because of all your good work, GETS will be a stronger, more focused, more invitational school for people making sense of their faith, for people making sense of God’s call upon them, and for people searching for how to put themselves into their own vocations in ministry.
I hope that you love your job and that it makes you a better woman, a better teacher, a better scholar, and a better follower of Christ.
I hope that you meet people whose lives you can still personally enhance the way you have throughout your career as a professor and therapist.
I hope that you will have fun, stay creative, lead with patience, grieve with hope, feel a sense of life, feel.
Finally, I hope these words in Philippians, from the Message translation, and words like them, will anchor and strengthen you, the GETS community, and the extended communities you serve:
I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. It’s not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality.