Words from the Pastor – February 2017
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord,
plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. “ Jeremiah 29:11
The people of Israel were going through a difficult time. Their leaders and others had been taken over by the Babylonians and were exiled out of the country. In many ways, they and the folks back home were greatly distressed. What kind of future could they have in such an environment? Was there any hope for them?
Jeremiah the prophet wrote a letter to them telling them to do their best in their current situation but that they were not to lose hope as God (who put through this exile) would someday bring them together again.
Many of us who love Christ Church and the wonderful ministry it has offered throughout the years look ahead and wonder: “What does God have in store for us?” Will the church of the next generation look the same? Should we keep doing the same things and hope for a better result? How should our building be utilized? Are there other possibilities we should consider?
We continue to reach inward to widen our fellowship and to reach outward with love and service to the community. But no one can deny the slow decline in attendance of our traditional church and Sunday school programs.
A group of nine Christ Church members have started discussing ideas about how our future ministry might look like with Rev. Carol Howard-Merritt, ministry coach for the Center for Progressive Renewal (CPR). The program is called “Next Level.” The purpose is to help us begin to discern our next steps as a congregation towards a future of growth, vitality, and significance to those around us.
These meetings will include discussions and will continue throughout this year with the expectation of offering recommendations for us all to consider. In the meanwhile, consider these questions yourself and let us know what you are thinking. Look for updates and ways we all can be involved in this process.
And, most importantly, call upon God in prayer that our plans will line up with His plans and give us a “future with hope.”