An Annual Letter
Annual report writing draws me into a corporate frame of mind and into missions, objectives, deliverables and metrics....and then I pause. Because, all those things have their place, but the deeper tale of the year is told in less formal ways. When you read through your own “text” of this year, look for the special places—where a new idea was born or someone shared a surprising gift, when the words lifted-up resonated with what is true and beautiful for you, where the unexpected challenge was solved with cooperation and humor, when someone showed you personal care and concern, or where a moment of music left you breathless. I hope as you flip through these pages and explore the words and images, your own fragments come to life and spark something for the coming year.
Looking back at this year more systematically, I am amazed. We have a worship life that is joyful, engaging and bringing people increasingly into our pews. We’ve found a liturgical groove that speaks with consistency to who we are even while it delivers weekly surprises. We are engaging our young people in meaningful ways not only in Sunday school but in all the parts of Church life. We have new covenant groups forming and conspiring together in spiritual development. We are effectively welcoming people not only into the doors, but into our membership covenant. We are using our gifts to feed the hungry, march for justice and make a difference in our community. We are working to take responsible care of the resources of the church and are doing it in a way that exemplifies the best of religious life. In all of these areas we are creating, growing and emerging as a mid-sized church.
When I started and over the course of the year, I wrote down just for myself a few key strategies to remember in ministry. I include them here, because I believe that apply to all of us as we continue to live into our shared ministry:
· Be present heart and soul in the life of the Church and give generously of our energy;
· Pay special attention and care for worship, for it is at the center of who we are;
· Interact with one another in loving and humane ways in all the routine moments;
· Work with and encourage each other to accomplish all that needs doing;
· See the good that is emerging organically and nurture it; and
· Recognize it’s an ongoing cycle of discovery, engagement and commitment for us all.
That’s a little of what this year has been about. I think it’s been a good start and only promises to get better. On a personal note, I’m grateful for the blessing that this community has been in my life. You’ve all extended yourselves to be welcoming and to working together. Thank you. Let’s keep going and see what happens next.