I can count on one hand the number of times since the new windows were installed at the church this fall that I have been able to sit in my study with my new window open. Today is one of those days. The window is not open wide, juts enough to let in some cool, fresh air. It is delightful! But there is no need to fret if warmer, sunnier weather isn’t to your liking, because the forecast is for cooler temperatures and over an inch of rain tomorrow. It has certainly been an interesting and unpredictable spring; change is in the air!
We are ALL in a process of transition, not just from winter to spring, but as an entire congregation. In the month since we announced our plans to move back to California Robin has helped to hire and train her replacement at “The Kate” in Old Saybrook. And tomorrow she will begin her training in her new job in Sacramento. I have had sole responsibility for our house and dog for nearly a week, and both are doing quite well!
Laura Winoski has ably assumed the duties of church bookkeeper and treasurer. And the Leadership Team will soon be considering candidates for part-time interim pastor. There is much that is in the process of change at Hilltop. However, there is one thing that hasn’t changed and that is God’s love and faithfulness to the ministries and the people of Hilltop. This past fall we celebrated Hilltop’s rich and faithful history during our 125th Anniversary Weekend. What was obvious to me during the celebration and our preparation is that Hilltop has been blessed with many faithful servants over the years. Some were called as clergy and others have served as lay people, but all have been faithful in their service to God through this church.
I was especially struck by the process that was utilized to call Rev. James Lundell as pastor. The congregation contacted Jim, by mail, prior to his graduation from North Park Seminary. Through a series of letters, without a visit, Jim and the congregation mutually discerned his calling as their pastor. Jim and Twyla moved to Cromwell, sight unseen, and began their ministry here. After Jim arrived in Cromwell he was told that he would probably be the last pastor to serve the congregation, because they would likely close. Jim was the right pastor, at the right time; new neighborhoods were being developed in Cromwell at the time. So he committed to welcoming every new resident, as a result the church that was on the cusp of closing outgrew its facilities and a new church was built on the top of the hill (the “Hilltop”).
There are many other stories of faithful men and women who have worked tirelessly to support the ministries of this church and to serve this community. As we navigate this season of change I found hope and reassurance in the stories, past and present, of the people of Hilltop. I give thanks for God’s faithfulness to you and your faithfulness to God. I look forward to hearing about what God is doing through your ministry in the years to come.