Thank you, Holy Breadcrumbs readers!
I have been pointing to this day for a number of months. Today is the last post of Holy Breadcrumbs. I am not going away, but I will be writing under a different title and to a more specific target audience.
If you have been reading my posts none of this will surprise you, but an explanation of this shift is due all of you. Over four years ago, I began writing under the Holy Breadcrumbs title. I had just accepted this position as the Presbyter for Vision and Mission and I was looking for a way to connect with the leadership of the presbytery in a way that honored my love for creative writing and communication.
But I had a deeper purpose. When I accepted this position, I knew that I was not your typical executive presbyter who comes loaded with years of long-range strategic planning and head of staff supervision. No, I came to this position as a pastor who understood organizational grief and the pilgrimage process. The title Holy Breadcrumbs was my way of saying, “I am not going to give you an ambitious ten-year plan to work toward. But, I will promise to look for the signs of what God is doing just out in front of us and walk with you on this uncertain, unfolding journey.”
I have often said that Holy Breadcrumbs was a way of “teasing out a vision” for the presbytery. So, for over four years I have prodded and probed. I have tossed out handfuls of seeds looking to see which ones would take root. I have held possibilities up before the presbytery to see what would spark a surge of energy. I have shared the harsh realities of what the future will look like if no new life emerges. I have sometimes inspired some in the presbytery and, at other times, pissed a few folks off royally–all in service of discovering what the presbytery really cares about and what God is doing among us.
Now, it is time for a change. We have discovered enough about ourselves to move another direction. No more “teasing out a vision.” Now it is time to live in to what we know. And this is what we know. After over four years of writing, it is clear that the presbytery is ready for a both/and approach to leadership. We need both strategic planning and pie-in-the-sky visioning.
This is a real gift to me. I can now concentrate the bulk of my leadership on strategically leading the presbytery to the future. And I will reserve my blog for those slightly crazy folks who are ready to step into the wilderness of an uncertain future.
Every community in transition needs scouts who go out before them. As I make this shift, I do not want to lose the energy and commitment of those who are visionary risk-takers. Without them we would be stuck.
But, here is the deal about moving a community into the future. Not everyone needs to be a scout. Not everyone needs to go up the path to see where we might travel next. The thing about scouts is that they are the ones who go up the mountain slashing their way through overgrown bushes, retreating when cliffs block their progress, and often coming back bloody and bruised from the physical and emotional challenges. They are the ones who come back saying, “I tried ten different routes and here is the one that I think will get us through.” They are experimenters, innovators and creators. They will fail ten times for every one success.
I will begin writing under a new title “A Pilgrim Diary” and this platform will be specifically targeted to the visionaries, the spiritual scouts, and the risk-takers who dare to go out into the wilderness on behalf of the rest of us. You know who you are.
“A Pilgrim Diary” blog will continue for those who want to enter the ecclesiastical wilderness with me. If you had subscribed to Holy Breadcrumbs your email has automatically been transferred to www.apilgrimdiary.org. You can also access the blog on our Cascades Facebook page as well as my personal Facebook page.
Thank you, Holy Breadcrumbs readers. You helped me to narrow down the vision for the presbytery. Now it is time to do strategy with those who are ready to plan and head into the wilderness with those who are called to be scouts.
See you down the pilgrim path.
By Rev. Brian Heron, Presbyter for Vision and Mission, Presbytery of the Cascades