Pastor Charles and Defining Interim

Defining “Interim”

For those of you who don’t know much about me, you might find it interesting that I grew up on a hobby farm in the part of Ontario close to the 1000 Islands, between Kingston and Brockville.  Now farm work often involves putting in long days and knowing when to stop work for the day; just having to resign yourself to the fact that the rest of the job will have to wait until the next day.  And there are many times something comes up (like loose livestock as one example) forcing you to stop what you are doing and take care of another situation first.  You don’t get everything done every day, and there is always more that could be done. 

Ministry is also very much like that.  Pastors don’t always finish everything they set out to do at the beginning of the day.  Things often come up that need to be looked after before proceeding on with the work one planned to be doing that day.  Maybe it’s because of this parallel to farming that I’m so attracted to the ministry.  It refuses to become boring. 

And one of the things that make pastoral life a little more interesting is the work of interim ministry, such as I am doing here at Trinity.  I’ve been down this road several times before in my last Parish in the Upper Ottawa Valley.  A vacancy opens, a congregation needs an interim, and I’ve stepped up to the plate as best as I can. 

It’s not easy being the interim pastor, especially when it is on such a limited basis. As I’ve explained to your council, my first duty is to the congregation I’ve been called to, which in this case is New Hope Lutheran.  Therein lies a bit of frustration because there are so many things I would like to be doing with you and for you; things like regularly worshipping with you, visiting, and being more involved with your congregational life. 

Like the farm then, there are times I’m going to feel kind of limited.  I have and will continue to make myself available for baptisms, weddings, funerals, hospital visits, and those brief monthly appearances to preside at communion.  And, in spite of my time constraints, I still encourage you to contact me if you feel that I can be in any way helpful. 

Rev. Charles Nolting