“Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.” – John 14.12
On March 17th the congregation approved our amended and revised Articles of Incorporation. This was the culmination of ten months of work to update our governing documents which had not been amended or revised in 80 years, since 1939. Congregational Bylaws are essentially a document which clarifies and eases the work we do together. Those documents are living and need to be revised on a regular basis which unfortunately did not happen here.
So now what? Prior to Sunday, March 17th, our challenge as a congregation was two-fold. One fold were bylaws which were cumbersome and unrealistic to follow. The second fold was what does it mean to be a church in 2019 and going forward. We have removed one fold of our challenge. The second fold isn’t going away. What we have done was essential in that now we can clearly focus squarely on the ministry God is calling us to.
Going forward, I propose we look to Christ as a model. Christ was fundamentally devoted to training and healing his disciples while simultaneously sending them out to do ministry before they were “ready”. As a congregation, we must provide community and healing for those who commit to our body while simultaneously sending folks out to embody Christ in our community. We must ask ourselves the question, “How do we provide healing to those in our midst?” Simultaneously, we must also ask, “How do we shine Christ’s light into our community?” Holding those two questions simultaneously will draw us into Christ’s ministry.
Over and over again I am meeting folks who are not connected to a congregation but who are open to it. That said, they don’t want to waste their time. They are looking for a community to connect to while simultaneously looking for a way to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Honestly, that is a relatively simply formula. The problem lies in the damage people bring with them into community which inherently makes it difficult for them to be in community. We can’t be a part of something bigger in the world unless we can be in community.
My dissertation is coming into focus as I consider these struggles. Parenting Addison was the most challenging thing Lindsay and I have ever done. In receiving this little girl who had moved 10 times prior to arriving in our home, we saw firsthand what happens when a human does not have a secure foundation. Child development folks call this “secure attachment”. Without secure attachment we humans cannot build deep relationships with anyone. Looking through a theological lens, our lack of secure attachment with God is the source of sin. Sin is what gets in the way of relationship: relationship with God or with neighbors. We cannot love in a healthy way without secure attachment. In my dissertation, I plan to wrestle with how to teach attachment to adults so we can fully experience Christ’s overwhelming love for us.
When this love becomes our foundation on which we stand we become the full embodiment of Christ to the world. We do the work of Christ in the world and we do even greater works than Christ through his Spirit. May that be our future as a congregation!
In Christ’s Service,
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