2020 Vision

We are entering one of the “High Holy Seasons” of the church. It is a time when our community is seeking the solace, inspiration, and meaning that we offer in our times of worship and fellowship. Advent means “beginning.” It is a time of preparation and fresh starts. It is the end of our “calendar year,” but the beginning of our worship calendar year. December is a month that has been commandeered by the secular world to be primarily about consumer spending. If our religious world set the bar instead, it would be all about loving and giving—since that’s the message of Christmas. “For God so LOVED the world, that He GAVE His only son.”
Thanks to the efforts made by all of us, and the faith we’re showing in our church’s ministry and potential in 2020 and beyond as we seek to live out our 97th year in ministry moving toward the celebration of our 100th birthday, our “fresh start” of Advent has us moving “from strength to strength.” We have expressed concern about our financial posi-tion, and our church has responded by pledging an amount that allows us to step into 2020 with a balanced budget. 2019 has been a tenuous year for United Methodism because of the differing worldviews of Methodists on the subject of how we are in ministry to and with members of the LGBTQ+ community, and yet our church is taking steps to reassure the community that we are a place of welcome and encouragement toward ministry for everyone equally.
What are your hopes and dreams for this church? Part of my role as pastor is to be the “vision caster” for the church. I have alluded to some of those visions in the Septem-ber series on the Discipleship Pathway and in other sermons and discussions with our lead-ership teams. We share some of that visioning responsibility together, and Dan and Kathy Call have created an excellent forum for discussing some of those “big picture” discussions with the “Stone Soup” small group gatherings. Looking toward our 100th year in ministry is definitely an occasion to take stock of the vision of the church. We look back on our her-itage, we look squarely and honestly at the circumstances of our present, and we look cou-rageously toward our hoped future. As the year 2020 might suggest, I hope and pray our vision is clear and accurate. May this church have 20/20 vision, with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as our “corrective lenses!”