Grace and Peace to you, Friends and Members of Bath! CHANGE!
It’s that dirty 6 letter word. I don’t like it, you don’t like it, biblical characters weren’t crazy about it. The Hebrew people were stressing about things changing around them, so the prophet Isaiah brought the message from God, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” The prophet Jeremiah also reassured the chosen people, saying “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
When changes occur in a church, God’s people want to know why: is this necessary, is this good stewardship, is this our call to follow Christ into the mission field? And these are always fair and good questions!
In Presbyterian churches, changes are decided by committee, because we are very aware that not one single person speaks for God, or alone knows the will of the Spirit. When God’s people disagree about the direction of their ministry, God’s truth is usually not with either side; and instead somewhere in the middle. God’s will is in the compromise, the dialogue, the relationships of faithful discipleship we share together.
Committees can only address concerns that they are aware of. No positive change or consideration can occur if all viewpoints and experiences are not represented. I invite all to come be a part of the dialogue. If there are areas of the ministry of Bath that excite you, confuse you, or concern you, come be a part of the committee that discerns to be led by the Holy Spirit in that area. Come bring your voice and your calling to our reconciled community.
In Christ’s love, Pastor Emily