From The Pastor – January 2020

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.  “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.     Gen 12:1-2

A new year is upon us!  Or, maybe we are upon a new year?!  This is the time we start making plans with the whole year stretched out before us.  What will this next year bring for you? What new adventures to bring awe and wonder?  What new challenges to develop new skills and provide new opportunities? What new relationships will come into your life that will bring new connection and perspective?  I hope that this year brings you joy and blessing and just enough challenge to keep reaching for God’s hand. In short, I hope that you follow your dreams and that those dreams carry you into God’s plan for your life.

Above I quoted for us the  “Abrahamic Blessing”. In short, I feel it means that we are blessed by God.  You alone and each of us together. But, in the great economy of our God, blessing is less about who gets the bragging rights for what and more about being prepared and equipped for the next greater thing.  This is what I feel “you will be a blessing” means. That we are blessed not for our our success but that we are blessed to be a blessing to others.

This also tells me another important thing- dream BIG.  The next part of the passage I quoted for us tells that Abraham’s descendants will be like “the stars.”  He is talking about us. The relationship we have with God and each other. Who’da thunk it?! Words spoken thousands of years ago, first heard thousands of miles from here.  But, here we are! And, if God has gotten us this far, imagine what comes next!

With all of this opportunity, a question comes to my mind: What are your dreams for 2020?  What is your plan? How will you follow God into this new year? How will God make you a blessing?

There has recently been talk again about a strategic plan for the church.  Clyde Elio and I began this work in my second year here. Although I have plenty of experience in discovering new life for churches though careful prayer and planning, I appreciated learning new perspectives from the ever-capable Clyde.  Our work in this area has been dormant since Clyde’s passing, but the time is right to begin anew. Considering the positive outcomes of last year, (ending the year with gains in membership, stewardship, and ministry), in short, the time has come for us to dream BIG.  That is exciting! What roles are we to take in service to God and the community?

What are your dreams for the church?  How will be a part of bringing peace in new deeper ways?  In what ways will be work for justice realized? How will we care for the earth?  We are a blessed church; we really are. How will you be a blessing for our community and world?  Dream big. Make no small plans. God is in the world! You are blessed to be a blessing.

Grace and peace,

Rev. James F. Deters