On Sunday, June 5th we will celebrate 25 years together as pastor and congregation. Our worship that morning will consist of a series of reflections on our life together from members of the congregation and some amazingly beautiful music from instrumentalists and singers. Our Regional Minister, Sandy Messick, will lead us in worship.
As I’ve been thinking about my own reflection for June 5th I initially found my thoughts centering around the various capital campaigns that allowed us to renovate and remodel the sanctuary, the nursery and pre-school room, and The Children’s Workshop. I particularly remember the first campaign as I had never done anything like that before and I had no idea what to expect. Step by step we made our way through the process and met our goal. So it is that in our 25 years together we have been faithful in maintaining this building which is indeed a treasure to the community, offering affordable space to a wide variety arts and community groups around the city.
When we began our 25 years together we were not at all sure that we would still be here 25 years later. There was some thought that maybe it was time to close the doors of the church and scatter ourselves amongst other Disciple congregations. At that time the congregation seemed sad, anxious, and listless however underneath this feeling state there also seemed to be a seed of life just waiting for the right moment to extend its roots and send up shoots. And so it is that in our 25 years together we became a hopeful people filled with gratitude, generosity and grace. The future, we came to realize, cannot always be known from empirical facts but must be discovered by walking together one step at a time.
Finally I began to think about all the people who have called this church home over the past 25 years. I remembered how this congregation slowly began to open itself up to newness, how we began to tell the truth about our lives. I remembered the initial tensions that accompanied that truth-telling and how we worked to listen to one another with open hearts. I remembered how that open hearted listening cracked us open and we became a more authentic and loving congregation which culminated, many years later, in the adoption of our Welcome Statement which we will read together in worship on June 5th.
Twenty-five years ago I could not have imagined any of this. I am so thankful that we chose life. Together, we have made a difference. And I, for one, cannot wait to see what the future holds for this amazing group of faithful, hopeful, loving people.
Blessings + peace,