Often my friends joke and say as I enter a room, â€œHere he comes, watch the sparks fly.â€ I appreciate the humor relating my name to my work and calling. Part of my job is to guide the church into identifying the existing sparks and the new ways to make them fly for the ministry of Christ. As your interim pastor, I am looking forward to beginning the next phase of our time to together, looking into the community and ministry of Grace Church, identifying any needed healings and setting the course of renewal for the future.
To begin this process I have selected a Lenten Study entitled, Embracing an Emerging Christian Faith. This study will begin with an examination of the journey of the church universal and the influence it has upon a congregation such as Grace. It will also look at the â€œemergence Christianityâ€ movement to explore what has been happening within the church and her relationship to the culture changes that so greatly impact us. My hope is to have as many people within Grace educated on this matter as feasible.
As the congregation moves into a renewed understanding of the church and the living of our faith, I look forward to working with the appointed pastoral search committee. Before this committee begins the process of searching for a new pastor, it will join me in taking the opportunity and challenge to explore ways to â€œMove off the Map.â€ The committee will be asked to read chapters of a book with a similar title. As the search committee moves forward, it will be equipped to involve the congregation in important decisions regarding the directions of Grace Church.
I appreciate the steps that we are taking as Grace Church. Often churches choose to short step the process and quickly move into the direction of selecting a pastor. I find those churches continue on a similar course of declining in membership and ministry. As for me, I very much continue to enjoy our time together. I believe there is considerable grace within the community known as Grace Church.
Lenten Blessings Be Upon You,
Pastor Dennis Sparks