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The Pastor's Message
Too often conversations about the state of the Church operate in hushed voices and carry foreboding tones. “Did you hear? Another church closed in the next town over.” “Oh my, well we cannot let that happen to us. We need to get a contemporary service so we can attract new members. Some pop music will do the work.” And so it goes, churches across New England attempt to find new and catchy ways to cater new people to hop on board what they imagine is a sinking ship. Their mindset is to bring as many people in then see what works and what can be done, rather than going below deck and checking out if the hull is even compromised. I think if churchgoers were to go down and check out the motor, then they would see that it is God, not humanity, who keeps the ship afloat. God is at work, even here and now in New England. This ship that we sail is over two thousand years old. It has weathered the harshest of storms; it has survived the most compromising of mutinies. Yes – it is at a right and good old age – but friends, it will be ok.
God is the morning sun rising ahead of us; God is at the helm of this ship; and God is the gentle breeze pushing us onward when we don’t know how to continue by our own strength. Our ship will not fall asunder. We will continue on as we always have. Yet, the winds of change we see and feel and fear at present are not bad forces. Perhaps they are God, who is guiding us into a new direction. I believe God is calling us to remain firm in our foundations of liturgy, theology, and care for the world, yet also have the freedom to imagine new ways of being the Church. I do not know what or how or where God will take us, but I am committed to being a minister -- a theologian of the word, a caregiver to those in need, and a prophet listening to the whispers of God -- in this time of change. I pray you be ever at joyful peace, ever in deep prayer, and ever willing to imagine a different tomorrow.