There are lessons we keep learning over and over. In my work with churches around visioning and vitality I talk about the goal of becoming healthy, faithful and effective in that changing landscape of ministry. We explore how essential it is to understand the fundamental "WHY" of the church which comes to them from God. (See Simon Sinek's TED Talk)
And we talk about prayerfully discerning each church's unique way of living that "WHY" through the lens of Micah's wisdom to "Do Justice, Love Kindness and Walk Humbly with Your God" (Micah 6:8) We explore the necessity of making the crucial shift from a focus on institutional maintenance towards passionately living God's mission for the church.
And then I attended the funeral for Tiffany Vail's father: Robert Vail. The pastor and folks from the church shared sweet, funny, touching stories from his life and faith. And I was reminded that in every church there are and have always been people who just get this. They love the church deeply. They serve it with wise devotion. They want to help the church be strong and healthy. But they look beyond that. For them, preserving and maintaining the church is not an end in itself. And it never has been. They know the church for the difference it can make in the lives of its members and its community. They have always known the power of a loving community to heal and transform lives. And they hold Jesus deeply in their hearts.
I am grateful for the saints among us.
Rev. Don Remick is an Associate Conference Minister in the Massachusetts Conference, UCC.
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