Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Newsletter Part B

Who are we?

Many times over the last 4 years I have asked in sermons, in committee and council meetings, in conversations who we think God is calling us to be and where God is calling us to go. Since the last Annual Congregational Meeting your Council has been wrestling with these questions in a much more focused way.

As I sat down to write this piece I pulled up our congregational vision and mission statements. Here they are to refresh your memory:

Our Mission

Putting one foot in front of the other, we will continue to walk on the path Christ has set for us. The people of St. Paul’s will: Belong...Believe...Love...Lead

Our Vision

To be a loving and supportive community of faith where we celebrate the gifts of the spirit we bring, regardless of age, to the service of the Church, the Community, and the World. Our leaders, both Lay and Order of Ministry, will be supported and encouraged through our ongoing discernment of our mission and ministry and by our participation in the life and work of St. Paul’s United Church.
{ASIDE:, I note that these were supposed to be reviewed in January 2012. I am not sure we did that, but I am REALLY sure we probably should talk about what they mean}

Who are we? How do we live out those statements? How COULD we live out those statements?

One of the things I have heard God whispering in my ear for most of my ministry is that it is time to find new ways of being the church. firmly believe that is trying new ways, new ideas, is part of how we will live out those statements. Furthermore, I firmly believe that sometimes we get so tied to the old ways (the church as a whole is notorious for getting caught in the trap/rut of tradition) that we limit our ability to live out those mission and vision statements.

So what are the new things God is calling us to try? Some of them will work well. Some will fail disastrously. And that is good. There is a proverb that tells us if you never fail it means you are not trying enough new things, you are playing it too safe.

Here is my first option. I want to offer an evening service on a monthly basis (I am open to input on what evening of what week we should choose). But here is the catch. I want this service to look radically different from our regular Sunday morning service. It would be our chance to experiment with different worship styles and themes. I want/plan to start offering these in October. I want/plan to continue offering them until at least next June, even if attendance is poor or spotty. Who's in with me? Is there something you have always wanted to try in worship but were afraid to ask? These services are the time!

God is calling us to try new things. Sometimes I think the hour of worship on Sunday morning has become a straitjacket, maybe even a bit of an idol. I want to cut loose the arms of the straitjacket and maybe put a crack in the idol. It might work great!!!! It might be a fun failure!!! We will only know if we try.

And if you have ideas of new things you want to try out – let me know. God is still speaking to all of us. Sometimes we just have to stop and listen.

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