WORD FROM THE PASTOR
April showers bring May flowers. I keep reminding myself of this as we have been in the pattern of off and on rain and (gasp) snow. Our preference is to have sun and warmth, yet if we did not experience the times of rain there would be no growth for the grass, trees and flowers we love to see. It can be the same with our spiritual lives. Our preference would be to not have any conflict, tension, doubt or challenge, but these things help us to grow in our relationship with our God and with God’s people. We may prefer comfort and ease, yet these things may make us complacent and apathetic in our involvement in relationship. We don’t need to rush into challenge, but challenge will come, often bringing with it a chance to grow in patience. The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us, “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven…” Notice it doesn’t say how long the season will last or how much time it will take. In all seasons and times, I encourage us all to do our best to practice patience and understanding. God is with us through all seasons and will be with us throughout all time.
In time of the past few weeks we have been able to do a bit more and we are anxious for things to “get back to the way they used to be.” But the truth is, life is constantly changing. We do not worship now the way we worshiped in the 1950s. We do not relate or teach children in exactly the same way we did in that era. The church is constantly changing and adapting to keep relevant in the current culture. Each generation brings something different and to continue to bring the Good News to the world we as the church ebb and flow with the differences. Sometimes the change is intentional, done with much prayerful planning. Sometimes the change is forced upon us by the unexpected. In each change, in each season the core of who we are, the One to whom we look for guidance and strength remains the same. God is God; everywhere and in every place.
Recently I was in an informational meeting with our denomination’s church planting consultant. He shared with those of us on Zoom that somewhere between 40-50% of Americans claim they are Christians but have not congregational or denominational affiliation. They have a relationship with God, but do not have relationship with a community of faith. What’s more surprising is that they may not ever want to walk into a church building, but they may yearn for relational connection. Relational connection is made not just by seeing one another face to face, but through phone calls, video chatting, social media, etc. It’s not the way it used to be, but it may be a new way. The blessing of who we are as Moravians is that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. It can be both.
Our struggle as a faith community, a church family, is how do we function keeping in mind what is best for the common good. We all have our preferences and desires and the way we would like it be, but that may not be what is best for the community. How can we stay focused on God’s call to love as Jesus loved even in the midst of the current challenges in our world? How do we live as community so that all in the community are considered and included?
In Christ’s service,