Will we stay in our canoe?

This past Sunday, we were blessed by a visit from our Area Conference Minister, Rev. Alex Shea Will. Alex has a unique perspective, since he visits a Massachusetts UCC church nearly every Sunday, and is able to see "the big picture" of our denomination. And so he challenged us... to embark on a journey of uncertainty and adventure!

 

He referenced the book Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory by Tod Bolsinger. The explorers Lewis and Clark serve as the central metaphor for the book, because they had to adapt. Their expedition had expected to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean, but instead they found themselves at the Rocky Mountains. 

 

Facing this "uncharted territory," would they cling to their canoes and attempt to canoe through the mountains?!- because by golly, that's what they knew and that's what they had? Or would they turn back and canoe home? Or would they leave their canoes behind, and set out in a new way, into an unexpected land?

 

The church faces a similar challenge. Will we stay in our canoes, trying to paddle faster and harder, clinging to what we know? Or will we leave the canoes behind and set out on a new journey, trusting in the deeper truths we know and in God's guidance?