Churchnet October 2016 - Page 10

Marking Transitions

by Brian Kaylor, Associate Director

Earlier this month I spent eight days exploring biblical sites in Jordan. The trip, sponsored by the Jordan Tourism Board and Royal Jordanian, included visits to ruins from three cities of the Decapolis, the site of Jesus’s baptism and the Jordan River, the Jabbok River, the ruins of the palace where John the baptizer was killed, Petra, the Dead Sea, and more. I noticed a trend as we saw various sites of transitional moments.

We stood on Mount Nebo, where Moses looked out over the ‘promised land.’ There he died and Joshua assumed the role of leading the Hebrew people. We saw Mount Hor in the land of the Edom. Aaron trekked up that mountain with his son Eleazar. Aaron’s priestly garments were removed and placed on Eleazar to mark a new high priest, and then Aaron died. We stood where it is believed Elijah ascended in a fiery chariot. He and Elisha crossed over the Jordan River and hiked up on the east side. There Elijah’s mantle (cloak) and prophetic spirit were passed to Elisha.

Each of those significant transitional moments involved a hike up a hill or mountain. The passing of the mantle in each case came with a special trip to special spot. Each transition came with an attempt to highlight the moment. After all, transitions can be volatile moments in the life of a community.

As Churchnet enters a time of transition, I thought of those spots in Jordan. Fortunately, our outgoing Executive Director, Jim Hill, isn’t dying. And I don’t think he has any plans for a dramatic exit with a chariot (though you should come to our next annual gathering just in case). But Jim has demonstrated his leadership by creating a deliberate, careful transition. We are marking the steps. I look forward to working with Jim and Executive Director-Elect Brian Ford as

we transition into

the next stage of

Churchnet’s work.

(continued on

next page)

Brian Kaylor and some ruins in Jerash (known in New Testament times as Gerasa).