As I indicated in my April Spire article, I am using the Sundays between Easter and Pentecost to gear up the church for envisioning what we are to become. Perhaps we generally think more in terms of just holding on; but not me. Church can never play it safe.
Today’s sermon (the second in Easter) set out the scope of this quest. In the weeks to come, I’ll consider particular dimensions of our discerning a future for ourselves: what kind of Christian do I want to be? How are we going to serve our community? How are we going to resist and transform our culture? What kind of community and fellowship do we want to be? That is a tentative list. Each week, I hope to elicit feedback or encourage personal discernment by including worksheets of some kind in the bulletin.
Partly this series is motivated by what I perceive as the church’s need to deepen its sense of stewardship. Easter is the time to start, not September. And the scope of stewardship is, as I said in today’s sermon, much broader than pledging. It is imagining what kind of keepers (stewards) we should be of ourselves, our church, of Christ’s gifts, and of the world. And the mood I want to promote is much more forward-thinking than the mood we have perhaps fallen back on–where we just try to figure out how to maintain our budget.
My hope is that if we, mindful of our church’s ultimate Easter origin, begin now to imagine what we could be, to the glory of God, we will cultivate the excitement we need to drive the church forward into the future.