A Pastoral Word
This morning, as I was getting ready for work, I went down to our basement and turned on the TV for my morning dose of Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, I noticed that one of our cats was staring intently at the window. So I opened the blinds and noticed that a bird was looking into our window. As many of you know, the parsonage has a basement with a window that is at ground level. So really this bird was sitting on the ground, staring in at us humans and our feline companions.
Our cat begin to “hunt” this bird. Her tail began to twitch and she began it make clicking noises. She hunched down in attack mode. And before I knew what was happening, she launched herself at the window. Needless to say, she hit the glass and sort of slid down the wall, with a little dazed look on her face. I ran over to check her out and saw no broken bones, no blood. She may have used just one of her nine lives with that little trick.
So after a few moments, the bird was back at the window and I turn to see my cat once again, getting ready to jump to catch the bird.
All I could think was didn’t she learn anything! She could have killed herself from the first jump and now she is trying to do it again. Thankfully, my cat has a short attention span, so I was able to pick her up and diverted her attention to a safer location and object.
This experience got me to thinking about second chances and second jumps. This experience got me to thinking about learning lessons from our history and how to prevent “crashes into glass windows” in our future.
A few weeks ago, Burnie Wall showed me a Final Report from the Transition Task Force from 1998. Some of our outstanding member came together and “visioned” for the church. They came together and asked those difficult questions and sparked the conversation among the congregation of where God was leading Midway Christian Church. They developed a plan with several goals and practical applications for the church.
It struck me on how similar the visions and implications for Midway Christian Church were in 1998 and now in 2007. The group suggested that Midway Christian Church “increase ties to other congregations in the Midway community, especially Second Christian Church, embrace greater diversity of persons in the congregation, be more pro-active in our welcome of new Midway-area residents and more aggressive in our follow-up of those who visit, support more “hands-on mission efforts, both locally and through programs of the denomination, and develop better communication throughout the community.”
And these are some of the same needs that the Visioning Team has discerned for our church today with the help from you the congregation. In April, the Visioning Team once again turned toward the congregation to spark the conversation of where God is leading us as a church family. And the results came in and we are so thankful for everyone who shared their love and their visions for Midway Christian Church.
From the congregational surveys, many of you didn’t know if we do any follow up with our visitors. I can say yes we do, thanks to Priscilla Crutcher, who sends a note to all of our visitors. Many of you didn’t know if there was a nursery attendant on Sunday mornings. I can say yes we do. Her name is Heather Jackson and she is here every Sunday morning. Many of you wanted more hands-on mission opportunities. So I say, please let us know of ideas that will help us grow in our faith and reach to care for God’s children.
From the congregational surveys, many of you were appreciative of the music program at Midway Christian, that you enjoyed our style of worship, that you felt like we were a welcoming congregation. Actually the positives outnumbered the negatives! Yeah us!
As the Visioning Team continues their work by discerning were God is leading us, I believe that God has given us a chance for a second leap of faith, to try not to “crash into our windows” but to leap into the future with a God who is loving, who is passionate about God’s people, to leap into the future, knowing that we are a community of faith grounded in the grace and peace of Christ, to leap into the future as the hands, the feet and the heart of God for the people of God. I believe that God has given us a great opportunity to learn from our past, incorporate our life lessons into our present, and to vision a wonderful future for this congregation and for many generations to come!
Thanks be to God!!