There is a joke about churches. It's said that whenever someone suggests a new idea, the response is: "But we can't, we've never done it that way!" Perhaps we've all heard this said in a church, or maybe we've even said it ourselves! Resistance to change and "new things" is so common for congregations because it's our church that's supposed to offer us comfort. It's our church that's supposed to offer us stability. It's our church that's supposed to hold fast to tradition when the world outside is chaotic. After all, isn't God unchanging and eternal? So shouldn't "my" church be the same way?
Stability and tradition are crucial, especially when the world around us is on fire. But we also know that to not change, to not try new things, to not adapt to the world around us, is... well, it's death.
The past 17 months have required that we adapt and change. It was no longer: But we can't, we've never done it that way. It was instead: We're going to try this, because we have to. And so we re-invented, we experimented, we adapted. And in many instances, we found greater depth and connection through the "new" way!
From the Men's Group take-out dinners, to Zoom bible study, to Christmas Eve on the porch, to Advent Workshop craft boxes, to Outdoor Worship, to Care Circle deliveries... so much amazing creativity! And now as we kick off the fall we have a new way to do coffee hour (outside and zoom!), a new way to do worship (hybrid!), a new way to do Sunday School (outside!)... and lots more. We're innovating. We're experimenting. And we're gently letting go of what was.
We'll all receive a candle this week. (Please call the church office if you don't receive one!) It is a sign of the light that unites us, the divine light that shines for each one us in this uncertain time. So no matter where you will be on Sunday morning, have your candle ready as we raise our lights together! We are being the church, Good People! And we are doing it pretty awesomely!