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Pastor’s Ponderings

We rejoice in the Lord, beginning the first week of August with over 50 children and 20+ volunteer leaders, the largest VBS enrollment ever!  How appropriate is the theme, “Creator’s Workshop,” as God is working in hearts, minds, and souls across the spectrum of our church, from pre-school age children all the way up to those beloved older children of the Lord approaching a century of years of life on Earth!  Let’s be intentional to extend warm invitations to Faith PC to the visiting parents of VBS children attending worship on 6 August to continue attending as summer ends and the fall begins.

 

Our Mission Study Committee is diligently engaged in holy work to create a report for Session and the Pastor Nominating Committee to use in calling Faith PC’s next pastor.  Please participate and pray as you support them. 

 

During this transition time, there are five developmental tasks to work through.  We are in the midst of the first one, coming to terms with history here, acknowledging an appreciation for the past, and at the same time becoming aware of any issues or concerns that need to be resolved in order to move freely into the future, beginning to hear God’s voice anew.

 

We are on the cusp of addressing our second developmental task, discovering a new identity, discerning God’s voice & vision together and finding God’s provision in the wilderness.  Our goal is to experience a healthy congregational identity and relationships.  From this work, the fruit will be an emergence of congregational vision, mission & ministry.

 

I have mined some positive nuggets of gold in Transitional Ministry Today, edited by Norman Bendroth, which Rob Voyle calls the Appreciative Way.  He names some assumptions and attendant thoughtful questions for us in seeking to discover the new identity God has for Faith PC:   

 

Assumption: At the heart of the universe is love, which is the source of our existence and our purpose for being.  “Where have you been most aware of God’s love within our family of faith this past month?”

Assumption: The deepest longing of the human heart is for acceptance, and the only changes that will be sustainable are those that result in greater self-acceptance and acceptance from and for others.  “Tell a story of a time when you were seen, listened to, contributed to, and had your dreams blessed by your family of faith.” 

Assumption: In every society, organization, or group, something works.  “What do we do well?  What is really working well for our community of faith?  What enables and empowers that activity?  What would happen if we applied those same strategies to another aspect of our community life?”

Assumption: People have more confidence and comfort to journey to the future (the unknown) when they carry forward parts of the past (the known).  If we carry parts of the past forward, they should be what is best about the past.  “What are we carrying from our past?  Does carrying it give us a better future?  What about those parts that are unhelpful?  Prayerfully consider and meditate on these assumptions and questions. 

Throughout this final full month of summer, remember that we are in God’s loving, merciful, and gracious care.  Trusting and thanking God with you!

 

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  Isa. 43:18-19

                                                                       

                                                                                                Faithfully, Yours in Christ,

                                                                                                Pastor Gary


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