Thursday, September 22, 2011

Taking care to consider all thoughts

As your GPS team met Wednesday night and thought about the ministry Second is doing now and what it might do in the future, we were well aware of two (well, at least two) emotions running through the congregation as we do our work:

* Excitement. Our future can be bright with promise, and there is hope that our work can help guide us to that future.

* Anxiety. Change is never easy, and there is fear that we may propose things that will upset people.

We're well aware of both emotions. In fact, at our very first gathering in July we read from the third chapter of the book of Ezra how, when the people of Israel returned to Jerusalem from an exile of about six decades, they began to build a new temple. The result was that there was lots of shouting for joy at what was coming and yet at the very same time there was great weeping from people who remembered the first temple.

So we know that whatever we recommend for Second's future will produce both joy and weeping, at least in a figurative sense.

We also know that the task of the church is to introduce people to Jesus Christ, who can transform their lives. And that's what the GPS continues to keep as our focus.

What we want to avoid is for the emotions of anxiety to lead to unfounded rumors and unexpressed questions about our future. And that means that everyone in our congregation has an obligation to speak to us about hopes and fears. You have several ways to do that:

* E-mail us at

* Leave a note in the church file folder of Bill Tammeus, GPS moderator.

* Attend presentations by GPS member Molly Hundley and our pastor/head of staff Paul Rock the Wednesday evenings of Oct. 12, 19 and 26 after the Wednesdays Together meal.

* Talk to any GPS task force member.

We are trying to be as open and transparent as possible in this work and we really want members of our congregation to be that way, too. And as we do this work, we continue to ask for your prayerful support.

By the way, some of us GPSers have been reading a 2007 book called Who Stole My Church? by a pastor named Gordon MacDonald. It's about how a fictional church deals with change and is quite well done and helpful. To learn more about it, read this entry on Bill Tammeus' "Faith Matters" blog.

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