The dance of change

By Mike Cotter

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
Alan Watts

Vestry member Mike CotterWhen Daniel first communicated to the Vestry that it was his intention to leave Grace Church and return to Arizona as rector of Christ Church of the Ascension in Paradise Valley, we in unison gave up a gasp of “OH NO!” I believe most of us individually then started to think negative rather than positive thoughts about what was ahead for Grace Church.   In the Cotter family we call this manner of thinking, “awfulizing.” In general, when change besets most of us, our thoughts tend to veer towards the dire factors of a change rather than the good.

Since Daniel’s first “bombshell” announcement, your Vestry, thanks to Daniel’s help and spiritual guidance, has prayed about this change, thought about this change, and acted on this change. We have met with Bishop Whayne Hougland and with his re-affirmation; we were reminded that Grace Church is the healthiest, strongest, and most highly resourceful congregation in the entire Diocese of Western Michigan.

With this positive thought track now firmly rooted in our acceptance of this change, we have made it a priority to celebrate and give thanks for Daniel’s nearly seven years as rector of Grace Church.   We look forward to the future of Grace Church.  We look forward to continuing and growing the many exemplary ministries of our church.  As Daniel reminded us in his sermon last Sunday, Grace Church is not the building, not the rector, not any one individual. Grace Church is a community of many united as one. With God’s limitless love in mind, we seek to pray and do good for our families, our friends, and all other individuals not only at church, but also outside of church during the week in between services.

So Daniel, when you and your beautiful family make the move West please vicariously join us here at Grace Church as we learn how to do “the dance of change.”  We at Grace Church in Traverse City and you at Christ Church of the Ascension in Paradise Valley will with God’s help continue to change, continue to grow, and continue to carry out God’s work.

We thank you Daniel and we will miss you!


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