Off the Wall October 2018 by Rev. Dr. Alan Dorway

I confess that as much as I talk about our faith being a journey, and it is, I always want to know where we’re going.  I remember taking road trips with our family and the standard question of, “when will we get there?”, just did not work.  So, my brother and I learned to ask, how many MASH episodes will it be until we arrive at (insert place)?  We knew that MASH episodes were 30 minutes long and as we knew we were going to grandmother’s house, camp, or Los Angeles, we could deduce approximately how much longer based upon how many shows we would imagine we were watching until we ‘got there’.  Of course, now we could have just watched some MASH shows, but then we did not have internet-based phones or tablets (I hope some people still remember MASH!). 

 

I get that it is frustrating not to know where a car, a trip, a journey, or an organization is going.  I’ve been pondering parts of our journey together as a congregation every day since I’ve been here.  I know and appreciate your prayers and many for serving to help guide our journey.  Yet, we are at another crossroads along our corporate journey as FPCE.  There will be others and we’ve navigated many in the past, but I too am asking, how much longer Lord?  Rather, I’ve been asking more to the point, Lord who are we now as we journey together?  The Spirit is answering, it just takes some time. 

So, how can we alleviate some of this concern for our journey?  We know the end.  Yes, no matter what happens in life or where we head or the process we take to get there, we believe in Jesus.  We know our final hope is found in Jesus and that one day, we will see his kingdom come and his will be done here on earth, even if we make it heaven first.  That is our driving force: Jesus is not just leading us, but he’s shown us a vision of the future and it is secure with him. 

 

We have the resources.  God has equipped us with the gifts, talents, money, time, and effort needed to continue with confidence on our unique journey.  We might not know the specifics, but we are a resource filled and rich community that when we get a renewed vision, then we will move with confidence. 

 

We will continue to strive for clarity.  Our communication, our announcements, our worship, our practices, our conversations, and our letters will continue to be full of information on the life of our church.  We will continue to work to improve and refine our processes so that even when we do not know the exact next step in our journey, we will be clear on how we intend to move. 

This summer we had two conversations, our session held a special meeting, and out of those are working on assessing our staffing needs and working to engage our membership.  There are unknown steps in front of us, but we know we’re secure in God, we have the resources, and by being clear we will get to a new vista point along our journey.  I invite you to be a part of this exciting time by joining us in worship and praying for our leaders.