Colour Outside the Lines

Good morning                                                                                                                                    Wednesday, January 24th

Like most churches we have entered that time of preparing for our annual meeting. This is a time of accountability and a time of visioning. It is what the conversation seems to be focussed on inside the congregation and among clergy. I am part of an on-line group who have been having the annual meeting discussion for several weeks now – clergy who are busy trying to figure out how perhaps those meetings can be done differently, more effectively or how they might be a jumping off point for innovative movement into the new year. For some this is a stressful time because it is a time of decision making and depending on the situation this might include the dreaded budget debate about what we can afford and how can we cut.

When I think about all of this and what we are about here at First United I cannot help but feel that sometimes we get lost in the figures and in the debate and become paralyzed by what is seen as the negative. While it is important that we remain fiscally responsible and some discussions are ones that we must have, when that becomes the focus of our time together it drains energy and has the possibility of sucking the life out of us. When that happens ministry becomes a burden, creativity becomes non-existent, growth is only a dream and decline becomes reality.

This is probably where I get accused of wearing my rose coloured glasses but I happen to believe, with every fibre of my being, that when we actually do ministry, when we live the vision, when we are the change, then great things happen and the spirit lifts us up on eagles wings. Perhaps this is why I love that old movie “Field of Dreams”. If we build it they will come….. I believe that the more we risk, the more we move out of our heads into actually doing something then the more we expand and grow and we become all that we were created to be.

When Jesus called the first disciples he invited them to step into the unknown and be open to doing whatever was needed. When he commissioned and sent them out on their own he instructed them to take nothing with them but to depend on the hospitality of others and to simply do what they were called to do. In essence I hear Jesus saying if you proclaim the gospel, if you seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God then the rest will fall into place. Now this is a very difficult place for many of us to be ( especially those, like me, who really need to be in control). But it has also been my experience that when we actually live our calling then things have a way of being just the way they are supposed to be.

It is my hope, my dream, that perhaps this year we might learn to “colour outside the lines”. Perhaps this year we might we empowered to do ministry; build that place where love is lived; open the doors to possibility and promise and go wherever the spirit leads us!

May it be so.

Valerie

Reminders of the week

Don’t Forget to drop of your recycling on Saturday 9 to noon, in the parking lot on Young Street next to “Al Weather Windows and Doors”.

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