As Martin and I prepare for the movers to arrive and move the entire contents of our Newton house to our house in Bloomington, we must make decisions about what we will move ourselves. We must decide which items we will need for the next week or so, and we must decide what items we couldn’t bear to lose should something happen to our belongings as they travel almost 500 miles to meet us at our new home. As we make these decisions and determine what will take up the limited real estate in our vehicles, we are expressing our values and revealing what is most important to us.
I believe this is true of the church as well: what we choose to spend our time on, to invest our resources in, to fill our limited-space metaphorical vehicles with reveals what we value most as a community of faith. As I am coming to know the community that goes by the name of First United Church, I invite you to consider what pieces of church life you need to live as this community, what parts of church life you cannot do with out. What items are required for First United to be First United, without which First United would cease to be First United? And, remember, your vehicle can only hold so much; so you can only choose the essentials (I suggest 5-6 items for the purpose of this exercise)!
Once you have discovered your First United essentials, I encourage you to send me a note (electronically or physically; I will be in Bloomington this week after all!) or give me a quick call or text and share your list. I would LOVE to engage in conversation with you all about what you value at the very core of your church being and see as the fundamental building blocks of First United Church. Knowing who we are and what we value as a congregation is essential as we begin to engage in meaningful ministry together and strive to co-create with one another and God the faithful and fruitful future that lies ahead.
Blessings on your journey of discovery!