Come and Follow Me!!

Good morning!

There has been a lot of talk in society lately about the future of the church. Many have predicted doom and gloom. The church, meaning all denominations of the Christian church, are in decline and some suggest that we are facing collapse. In our own denomination there are groups of people tasked with visioning the future. Conversations are happening locally and nationally about what we need to change in order to survive. Some people think that there is no hope. This conversation, on some levels saddens me. As I listen I hear a sense of despair, fear, uncertainty and in some circles a resignation to a terrible outcome. I am left wondering if perhaps I live in a different world than most. I say that because I cannot see what others see. Yes, the church has changed from the church my childhood. Yes , there are places where churches are closing. Yes, Sunday Schools are not as large as they once were. Yes, our understandings and insights into what God is and how God is revealed in our midst has changed. But are these things necessarily signs of collapse? Has the church not always been in a state of change and development? I see communities that are empowered to walk the way of Jesus with commitment and purpose. I see churches that do not have many children in a Sunday School but have mid-week programs where the children are so many that finding adults to help is difficult. I see youth who are passionate about ministry and mission and are connected to other youth across the country dedicated to change. I see churches who are dedicated to advocating for justice in a world where justice is not yet a reality. I see people who gather for worship in many and varied ways, on Sundays and on other days, to share in the re-energizing power of the Spirit. For me, these are signs of life, joy and possibility!

Life itself is always changing . It is called evolution. If we were to stay exactly the same as we are at this very moment, how sad that would be! I just think of how boring and empty life would be. The scriptures share with us the reality that we are a people of Journey. Always on the move, from one place to another either physically or spiritually. Jesus went into the desert to discern his ministry and then came back to community. He did not speak to people and say “ stand here beside me and we will stay rooted in this place and see what happens” He called to people and said “ Come and follow me” . He did not go into the temple and stay there speaking words of hope and promise. He went out into the towns and villages and lived hope and promise. He did not say “ Oh isn’t the way we do things wonderful!” He said “ There are things that we do and say that are not in keeping with the covenant and we must stand up , speak out and become co-creators of the Kingdom of God” In everything Jesus was changing and growing and creating a different world. So, it only stands to reason that those of us who have responded to the call to follow will also spend our time changing and growing and creating a different world.

Last Sunday we began what will be a multi week journey of reflection. Chris began by inviting us to dream big about what we are called to be as a local and global church and where the road we travel might be leading us. This Sunday we are invited to gather in a different spiritual space ( the church hall) to reflect and discern how we are called to worship together. To think about what worship actually means and how it manifests itself for us in this time and place. Next week we will be invited to look more deeply at the call to disciple for us as a community of faith. Since we are a people of evolution, of growing and changing who knows where the following weeks will take us!!!!

Blessings
Valerie

Reminders of the Week

Holding in our prayers this week Pat Roberts and family as they deal with the fire at the daycare.

Sunday Morning Worship 10:30 in the church hall.

 

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