VITAL CHURCH

Posted by secondchurch on March - 30 - 2017

Thoughts from Pastor Mark

 “Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

I hope you read my column in last week’s Constant Contact email and will read what I’ve written for the April edition of “The Spire” newsletter, which you will receive this week. Both have to do with the ongoing discernment around the future of Second Church.

I would like to add a few brief comments, which Bubba Sooho shared with me, highlighting his “takeaways” from Super Saturday workshops with other UCC folks.

  • A vital church has a simple, clearly articulated mission.
  • It is the responsibility of everyone, not just the pastor, to implement the mission.
  • We can honor the past without being held hostage by it.
  • Jesus calls us to engage with the world as it is, not as we wish it would be.

And here are a few notes from Mary Ann Donaldson on her takeaway from that same event:

  • While speaking about church vitality, Brian McLaren said, “Hindrances are only in our heads.” We have to go into the world, move among the people, speak with the Gospel’s moral authority, transform ourselves, and love others radically.
  • As we rediscover our core message we acknowledge that there has been an “identity theft of Jesus.” Our core message is that the Lord Jesus Christ is our supreme authority, and a non-violent man who taught revolutionary love, a liberating king who wants to set people free.
  • The Gospel is about “God’s politics,” how we treat each other in public, so we cannot shy away from politics. There is a big difference between politics and partisanship.

There are so many signs of vitality at Second Church. People care deeply for each other. We have excellent programs for children and youth. We are generous in our giving to the wider church and other mission partners. We have gifted and passionate leaders. We have a world-class music program. We have a beautiful and well-maintained facility. We have a dedicated, proficient, and loving staff.

In my mind, the thing that needs the most work is boldly acting on our faith or as one of the saints recently said, “getting some life into our ‘dry bones’ by sharing our love of the Lord with others.” Can I get an “Amen” to that? And can you commit to growing in faith and your expressions of faith?

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