Wow, what a summer this has been already. Pastor Mike’s renewal began in May and now we’re in August. Our church has bonded and grown stronger through this time where we are looking at our past to see how it will shape our future.
So far, three of our four returning pastors have visited us. We’ve heard messages from Phil Covert, Craig Peters and Jim Campbell with Clair Odell to come in the early part of this month (August). Each pastor has described a strength they believed to be pivotal in Christ Church’s success.
Pastor Phil talked about our strength as a community, that when united, nothing was impossible for us. I still see that today. You may not even know it is happening, because it happens so fast and so smoothly. Our Lifeboat Ministry is just that—a raft to cling to when times are tough— they bring food and meals to people when they’re ill, facing an injury, out of work or just plain old facing hard times. Lifeboat also visits people in the hospital or in their homes, often times connecting them with our parish nurse. But here’s the deal, it happens quietly, under the radar. You may never even know that the person next to you got assistance, a meal or a home visit. That’s one of the things I love most—its not about the glory anyone gets for helping, instead its about being humble and serving those in a time of need.
Another way you see that united community is how our church rallies around Buchanan Elementary School. When they have a need—shoes, coats, picnic tables, food or volunteers—you step up. You are committed to making the world a better place through our mission at Buchanan.
Pastor Craig talked about our lay leadership, that we have some of the best laity around (“laity” or “lay” people is the term used to define someone that isn’t an ordained clergy person). He told us about how strongly passionate and involved our church body is in the church mission. Just think back over summer and look at all the laity that stepped up to preach! Our laity runs many of our ministries—United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, Lifeboat, 50 & Forward, and almost all of the committees (Trustees, Memorial, etc). Our laity was strong, is strong and will be strong for our future.
Pastor Jim described a congregation that was open to new things, open to ideas that were outside the box and willing to try these things. We have been able to try a lot of unique and different things. We are not afraid to try the things that we believe God has called us to and we figure out how to take that next step. We continue to try new things and take risks. Some of the things haven’t and won’t succeed exactly the way we want them to, but are still successful to helping the Kingdom of God.
As we propel ourselves into the next 50 years, let’s reflect on those strengths: community, lay leadership and openness to try new and different things. Together, let’s brainstorm and see what we can come up with:
- How can we use these strengths to continue to define our church for the future?
- What does a unified community look like for the next 50 years?
- What does lay leadership look like, or need to be, over the next 50 years?
- What does trying new things in the next 50 years look like?
Let’s propel ourselves forward. Let’s be 50 years strong and getting stronger for the Kingdom of God each and every day.