The future. Can you catch a glimpse from here?
Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters
so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness
pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
It’s on its way. It will come right on time.”
(Habbakuk 2:2-3, The Message)
Last month, the session of First Church voted to enter a period of communal self-searching and visioning, with the goal of revitalizing our congregation—realigning with God’s intentions, growing in faith, deepening our connections. We’re working with a consultant named Kris Peterson, a Presbyterian from Lincoln, and her firm Empowered Living.
You’ll be hearing a lot about this visioning/revitalizing process—and be invited into it—as it develops over the next few months. The first step will be a mini-retreat for Ruling Elders and Deacons on Saturday, Nov. 14 (Bethany officers are welcome to participate), at which we’ll begin to describe who we are as a congregation today, and who we think God wants us to be in the next few years.
Kris will lead the officers—and then the whole congregation—through three seasons. The first season is the nuts and bolts of discovering our church’s mission, vision and goals, and strategies toward achieving them. The second season is the spiritual work and Biblical study to support that vision. The third season develops leadership by growing our ability to be inspired and energized toward the mission.
It’s exciting stuff!
Or, maybe… it’ll be the same old thing. There’s always a temptation to be cynical about whether our church can change and grow. I ask you to set aside your suspicions for a while and just be curious, open, engaged and hopeful. Join the process. Throw your dreams in the ring. Trust the Holy Spirit to move among us.
New member Julie told the session that she loved the church she grew up in. It influenced the person she became, and it meant a lot to be married in the sanctuary where she had worshipped and been nurtured for so long. When she and Josh chose to join First Church, she realized they were choosing the place and the people who would play that role for their daughter. She has already imagined her baby's future wedding here.
Let’s cast a vision big enough to be the Body of Christ for years to come for this child and many others who will grow up in this community.
Dreaming with you,