Monday, October 25, 2010

November Newsletter

Earlier this year I read this:
The dedication service of McQueen Presbyterian Church was held on October 8, 1911, with capacity attendance. Its name honored the Rev D.G. McQueen, who had played an important part in the creation of this mission. It was a proud moment for the Rev. And Mrs. Forbes – their first church in their new mission field... (And We Come After page 19)
McQueen Presbyterian would, in due time, become St. Paul's United Church. And our current building is on the same parcel of land as that original log church. We are 100 years old next year!

It seems to me that this is a significant thing. For starters it gives us a reason to have a party (always a good thing). But anniversary years are special. They give us a chance to look back and to look ahead.

Yes that's right. I said that special anniversaries are a chance to look back and to look ahead. As we remember those that laid the way for us, as we give thanks for those that built the community to this point we have a responsibility to the future. When people gather in this place to celebrate the 125th or 150th anniversary of that dedication service of McQueen Presbyterian what will they say about those of us who celebrated the 100th?

As we approach our centennial date next Thanksgiving weekend (yes, we mark our centennial on Thanksgiving weekend, how appropriate is that!?) I encourage us to be forward looking. Yes we will engage in that holy task of telling the stories of the past. Yes we will be thankful. But our future is not our past. What was once here will not be again. It is my opinion that we don't honor our predecessors by trying vainly to recreate their world. We honor them by continuing to build and rebuild the community they passed on to us.

What is our hope for the future? What stamp do we want to make on this place? In my mind that all comes back to the question I asked in my first sermon with you. Who and what is God calling us to be in this place and time? How we answer that question shapes what decisions we make about our programs, about our building, about our future. And that, in my (not quite so) humble opinion is a GREAT anniversary project.

Oh and if you are interested in the party part of the anniversary? Let us know. A good party takes someone to help plan it.

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