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The Preacher's Post: Looking BAck, Moving Ahead
On the one hand, I never want to be that guy who keeps going on and on about the same thing. But on the other hand, I know that sometimes I am that guy who goes on and on about the same thing. You don’t have to tell me – I get that it’s true. And as you’ve probably guessed, it’s not going to stop me from being that guy again right now, so we should just get this over with …
Isn’t a time of celebration – especially for a big, round number like 100 years – a great time for not only looking back, but looking forward, too? (I know you’ve already heard it from me, so let’s not pretend at being surprised.) There really are a number of reasons to keep bringing this up. The symbolism is perfect! Ending a century of ministry and embarking on the next one is a big milestone. Planning out a vision for a new century of ministry is a pretty exciting thought! But maybe the best reason really has nothing to do with our celebration all: that our 21st century world is changing so quickly that it’s likely going to demand something so new from us as church that we haven’t even imagined it yet.
While this might sound fairly daunting, the good news is that we don’t have to rush into anything. In fact, every iota of experience and training tells me that’s exactly what we shouldn’t do. So, rather than worry about trying to invent a bunch of new wheels to try out, I think the best place to start is by taking a good look at the ones we already have. That’s why I’m taking advantage of this month’s column to announce yet another re-boot of the Pastor’s Cabinet starting next month – and you’re invited. We’re going to get back to its original roots – to provide a forum for communication between ministry teams for planning purposes – but I’m going to ask of you something more. I want us to spend some time not just planning, but evaluating our ministries and what we’re doing, too.
The truth is, the church has always been changing. What’s made our lift simpler in the past was that the world wasn’t moving quite as fast as we’re experiencing it today. We need to really measure our ministries against our values as a congregation and make sure we’re doing the most good in the most faithful ways possible. That means learning how we can do better when we can, and even being willing to move on from a ministry or program when we realize it’s time for something different.
So, I hope you’ll mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 28th at 6:30 in the Coffee House. I’m going to share some insights I’ve picked up along the way and share some markers of what I see us calling faithful ministry. The best way to plan our future mission and program is to be on top of everything we’re doing now, and this is where we get started. It’s been an exciting first 100 years – I can’t wait for us to roll up our sleeves and start living into our next 100 years!
Yours in ministry,
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)