Notes from the Pastor…
Bishop N.T. Wright of Durham has written, “The whole point of what Jesus was up to was that he was doing up close, in the present, what he was promising long-term in the future. And what he was promising for that future and doing in the present was not saving souls for a disembodied eternity but rescuing people from the corruption and decay of he way our world presently is so they could enjoy, already in the present, that renewal of creation which is God’s ultimate purpose – and so they could thus become colleagues and partners in that large project.”
As we begin a new year, it is a natural time to look back and to look ahead. Bishop Wright gives us plenty to reflect on. If it is true that we can, through Christ, enjoy right now renewal of creation and become partners in God’s work, what then does that mean for us as a church? How can we continue to grow and live into that promise?
A couple of things I am excited about in the upcoming year include:
Church collaboration: I feel there is an untapped source of vitality that is available to us when our churches work closely together. A great example of this is the amazing work of the Kenyon Area Internship Committee. When our churches share resources and ministries, good things happen. We are in the process of building a leadership team that can further this work. In 2023, there will be adult ed and youth ministry events that our local KW churches will be working together on.
Growing in Faith: We will offering on-going adult faith formation opportunities in 2023. Adult ed will be happening at our twice monthly Community and Faith formation nights. I am also excited about putting together a contemplative prayer group after we had our Centering Prayer workshop last year. I think Brian McLaren gets it right when he says, “the quest for aliveness is the best thing about religion.” Becoming a partner in God’s work makes one truly alive. We will be exploring what that means for us this year.
Witness and service: Every faith community answers the question “who is Jesus for us” through its work and ministry. What possibilities will the Spirit open for us this year?
A prayer for the new year: “Thank you, Lord, that your promises are not for some distant future but are to be claimed right now, today. Teach us what we must do and say in our communities and in our larger world to participate in your promise.”