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An Overdue Update

June 8th, 2015 § 0 comments

The last few months have been busy. As some readers know, our first offer fell through. It came with a whirl of excitement and a frantic deadline. It would have had us out of the building by Easter. That meant spending the first part of the year cleaning out closets and rapidly making decisions about what to take, what to leave, and what to give away. If you visit now, you will see bare spots on walls where pictures used to hang. But the sale of our property was contingent upon the sale of other property. The other sale did not happen, so our sale did not go through.
In some ways, the cancellation brings relief. It has given us time to think. What ministry can we do when we are not burdened with caring for a too large building? How do we be responsible about our future and new resources? Where are we going? The cancellation means we can take time to make serious decisions with deliberation. However, having had an offer we know we can not drag our feet. Like the disciples at Pentecost or the people of the Exodus after the last plague, we have to be ready when the time to act suddenly appears.
There is also the kind of frustration that comes whenever plans change unexpectedly. We were emotionally prepared to scramble, and now we slow down. The extra waiting can be disappointing. How do we keep our disappointment from overwhelming our excitement? Where are we going?
So we continue to prepare. We are able to shift the discussion about this congregation’s future from how to do maintenance to do how to do ministry. We have time to understand the question is not whether there is ministry to do, but how do we choose a ministry that both reaches people and uses our skills and abilities. For this part of our discussion of the future, I lift up Frederick Buechner’s quote “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.1” What is it that gives us joy in God’s service and how can that joy be used to meet people’s deep hunger for hope, support, and new life.

1. From  Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC

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