Welcome 2019! My prayer is that this will be a blessed New Year for us all as individuals and as a church!
"In the Holy Land, there are two ancient bodies of water. In one, fish splash, birds sing, roots seek sustenance and people find their living. Around the other: neither fish, nor bird, nor leaf are anywhere near. The difference is not in their source-- the Jordan River feeds both-- but in what these two bodies do with that life-giving water. For every drop the Sea of Galilee takes in, it also sends forth. The Sea of Galilee gives and in so doing, it lives. The other gives nothing and is called the Dead Sea.” —Reverend William Sloan Coffin
As we enter a new year let us ask God to teach us to be a body of water that sends forth? Dear God, empower us to be a life-giving body of believers.
Do those of you reading this, those of you who make your way to sit in the pews most (or even some) Sundays and those of you who support this church with your time, talents and finances want to continue on your current path or are you willing to set out on an unknown path to be a church that is relevant to your neighbors who are seeking a spiritual home? If so, you do not need to wait for your next settled pastor— remember you are The Church. There is no time like the present to get started.
Now, we all know the excuses. You may be tired. Maybe you are discouraged. We all wonder why there are not more of us at church on Sunday mornings. You are a friendly church. We love each other and we love God. What do we need to do to be faithful to sharing God’s love beyond those who come in the doors, beyond us? I relate to the gospel story in John when the disciples had spent all night fishing and had nothing to show for it. They had showed up and done the work. They were out there all night casting their nets and ended up with no results. The writer says it was near daybreak and they were giving up and coming back to shore. I am sure they felt discouraged and yet the gospel writer shares: Jesus called out to the Disciples in the boat, ‘Friends, haven't you any fish?’ ‘No,’ they answered. Jesus responded, ‘Throw your net on the [left] side of the boat, and you will find some.’ When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the huge number of fish.” John 21:5-6
Is God calling you to something new? Do you need to cast your nets in a new way? I don’t know the answer but it has been said that the definition for “insanity” is when you do things the same and expect different results. As your interim pastor I am happy to be doing ministry with you. I have felt welcomed and accepted by you for which I am grateful. I feel called to challenge you to do more. I feel called to stir the waters and call you out of your comfort zones to begin to dream of where you can cast your nets as you prepare to call your next pastor.
Abundant Blessings, Tomi