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ENVISION 2021: "From Envision 2021" to "Re-Vision 2022"
our last Council Meeting, I shared how Covid-19 really threw a wrench
in my plans for moving us into our “second century” of
ministry. What I’d hoped would be a year of finding our 20/20
vision (for 2020 – get it?) turned into a year of just trying to
see a way forward while working to maintain connections and keep the
faith during a shutdown. Now that there are signs we’re moving
away from the worst of the pandemic, (hopefully!) it’s time to
take up this work. Unfortunately, what I’d planned to tackle a
couple years ago, free from the new stresses introduced by our budget
concerns, will now become a central part of the
work before us as church – not just
during this budget cycle but throughout the year ahead.
For some of you, this won’t mean anything yet. I’ll be drawing together a team from our Council to
explore some of the tools I received while doing intentional interim ministry. This team and I will then guide all of us – and this means you! – through some larger conversations about where the Spirit might be pointing us. Eventually, we’ll all have a part to play in moving our church forward into a new season of ministry – and your work could take any number of forms. To highlight some of those, I’m delighted to share a reflection from Jason Chuma. Communicating, interpreting, teaching, inspiring – all of these are ways any of us might be called to lead in the coming year, and Jason just happens to demonstrate them by sharing his thoughts on the power of beginnings – an appropriate reflection as we explore the grace of new beginnings through the challenges and conversations that lie ahead. So, with that, I’m delighted to share my column and invite you to continue this reflection with Jason.
Yours on this discerning journey, Clint
In the beginning. This phrase is probably familiar. It is how the whole
Bible begins in the book of Genesis: 1 In the beginning when God
created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and
darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over
the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be
light” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was
good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
But Genesis isn’t the only book to begin with “in the beginning.” So does the book of John, and specifically looking at chapter 1, verses 1-5 and 14: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it…14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory of the father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
I love how John begins his Gospel, because he starts by making it clear just who Jesus was by relating it to a familiar story in Genesis. When you put is all together, in the beginning was the Word. The Word was God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us. We sometimes think of Jesus being created at the Immaculate Conception, but John’s Gospel teaches us that he was there in the beginning. Because he is God. God became flesh through Jesus Christ. Jesus was God and Jesus was man. He was not part God and part man, but all God and all man at the same time. This may be difficult to perceive or fully understand, I know it is for me at times, but it is a biblical truth.
God loves us so much, that he was willing to come to earth himself in the flesh and experience what it meant to be a man. He was all man, so he felt it all; all of the pain, temptation, burden, joy, and love that comes with being human. All of it; even including suffering dying on the cross for our salvation. He loves us so much that he came to earth to die for us. So that we may not die but have eternal life through him. What a boundless love that God has for us. A love that he has had since in the beginning. A love that he showed us through his son Jesus. A love that lives on in us as we do his good works and spread his gospel. Amen.
Christian Church of Bremerton is a diverse group of people seeking to
respond to the vision of God's purpose revealed through Jesus the
We believe this vision calls us to be an intentional community, which engages persons in Christian practices. These practices include the Lord's Supper, joyful worship, Bible Study, prayer, service, and inclusive hospitality. We anticipate being open to all people, discerning how we can respond to needs within and beyond our congregation. As a community we will listen to and bear one another's burdens, and work on behalf of justice for all God's people.
To embrace and manifest Christ-like relationships in our community, we desire to communicate Jesus' death on the cross and bear witness to His resurrection as a sign of hope in this world. We seek to realize this hope by finding ways to overcome the forces that degrade, enslave and oppress God's creation.
In this vision we seek to know, to discern, and to act on the Holy Spirit's guidance to become an expression of God's new creation through our personal gifts and resources. In our actions we strive "to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with [our] God." (Micah 6:8c)