I think it's expected that at a change of management there should be some sort of statement from the new manager. Yet, I have relatively little to say about this change.
First, and probably most importantly, I ask all who read this to pray for me, for wisdom and understanding of why I'm "here," and what I should say and do in this position. As many of you may know, before the invention of printing, monks would put a request for prayer for themselves at the beginning or end of something they were copying, a book of the Bible, for example. I see this position not so much as a leader or teacher, but more as a clerk, a "cleric." And, as many others in similar positions over the years, I find that even stating my position in modest terms, I find it overwhelming and know I can't do it alone, and am thankful that there are those I can count on for support as needed.
That said, I doubt really that there will be much noticeable changes on how things are run. Lou and I had some correspondence about this change, of course, and we find that our ideas about how things should be handled here are pretty much identical.
There's just one more thing I'd like to say just now. I think we should be aware that a study group on Christian mysticism probably includes people with a deep interest in the subject who are nonetheless not Christians, or not mystics. For that matter, I think we can assume that even those Christians among us may have had their first experiences with mysticism somehow outside the church. That was my experience, for one. I grew up in a Christian home, but I had longings for what I mistakenly thought missing in the contemporary church, discovered mystic elements in oriental religions, Plato, etc., and then, only really very recently, discovered that mysticism has been kept alive in the Christian church, if I had only known how to find it.
The reason I wanted to state that here is, there is inevitably a conservative element in forums such as this which wants to defend the Christian faith from errors brought in from other religions and traditions. I respect and appreciate their concern, but I would want them to understand that some of us here are more familiar with the mystical elements of these other traditions than with Christian mysticism, and therefore such references are helpful.