From the pastor….
200 years ago, people got together and Grace United Church of Christ was formed. It wasn’t United Church of Christ at that point, and it wasn’t in English, but the people that gathered were listening to and for God, to and for the Spirit. What a blessing those people were, our ancestors in faith. Just like today, they were listening and learning what it means to be the church in that time and place. Today we are learning to be the church in this time and place. It isn’t nor can it be the same.
Today as I watched the Pope address the Joint session of Congress. I listened with grace and faith. I watched the people gather, all faiths, to catch a glimpse, to listen to a phrase of this man of faith who listens to God, and knows that God is still speaking, a pastor.
As we begin our 200 Anniversary celebration, I know that we will remember the past, be in the present, and more importantly look to the future. We have started that with our Core Values:
Welcoming Community, Faith, Leadership, Love, Fun/Joy
And our Mission statement:
Experiencing God’s grace,
Seeking God’s mission,
Sharing God’s love….
Everything we are, everything we support, everything we live, lives into this. Our question should always be… how is what we are doing furthering this mission? I have been reading, Beyond Resistance, the Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World, by our General Minister and President, the Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer. He offers some thoughts on his and our beloved United Church of Christ. He talks about autonomy and covenant, two of the words and ideas that we are in the UCC. Sometimes they are at opposite poles and that has hurt the church. Also some of our traditions and our gifts, we have horded and not shared. Are we listening to God?
Some questions I think, in the 200 year anniversary we need to be asking ourselves, I sure hope you will join me.
What is our mission? What does the Holy Spirit need Grace UCC to be doing and being? What does it mean to be the church in today’s time with diminishing resources? How are we changing lives? What do we believe and are we living that? How are we serving outside and not just inside?
Will you join me in being the church, being God’s voice, being God’s being, listening to the Holy Spirit, as we grow into the church of the future?
God is still speaking,