We’re moving! We are not sure yet where we are going. We are not doing this without large doses of reluctance and sorrow, but we are stepping out in faith.
Like many congregations that were started in California during the boom years after World War II, we were planted, grew large, and in recent years have seen our numbers decline. The buildings that once housed a congregation of over 1300 now hold less than 100. They are too big and we are too small. Several months ago, after much conversation, we came to the painful recognition that we can no longer maintain these buildings. Rentals help pay the bills. However, we increasingly find that being a landlord absorbs all our time and energy. Little is left for doing the kinds of ministries—from sheltering the homeless, to starting the still-operating preschool, to wonderful music programs—that were a big part of our life. So we faced the hard question. What now?
We considered closing. That is what many congregations do at this point. We considered merging. That is another option many congregations take. Then we realized there is a third option. We can take our strengths, move where we do not have the burden of maintaining the building, and find new ways to reach out and share God’s love and grace. We can carry on the congregation’s 70 plus year history of following God’s leading and sharing God’s love.
We are still figuring out the details, but we know God is leading us. We ask one thing of those of you reading this. Pray for us. Pray for us the following prayer.
Introduce us to the people we should walk with,
Show us the ministry we should do,
And lead us to the place where we should abide.
Keep watching. We’ll let you know where God leads us and how our adventure unfolds.