Growth and Change

Here at the intersection of risk (March’s theme) and transformation (April’s theme), I pause to observe our context.

Our fellowship has committed itself to being a visible beacon of liberal religious messages of hope and meaning in our local community. That means taking risks to create transformation. The first requirement when we speak about transformation is letting go of the idea that we know what we will look like ten years from now. If we knew, we wouldn’t be welcoming real transformation.

At a recent service, we invited consideration of various ways the congregation could change. Some probably make you make you nervous. Some feel unthinkable. What if the congregation were only virtual? What if it met sometime other than on Sunday? Such ideas are improbable. Others, though, are more feasible – and more immediate — than some might think.

If we are to have the capacity to grow in the ways that the congregation has agreed to, change is required. Our parking lot is full most Sundays; that keeps other people from joining us. At least three-quarters of the time, we are more than three-quarters full in the sanctuary. That also discourages people from joining us. Our children and youth, especially the teens, have make-shift space, rather than a place of their own.

Our Strategic Planning Committee continues to look at long-term options in terms of expansion of our building or moving to a new location. But we need change sooner than that can be accomplished.

The Executive Board has agreed on the appointment of a task force to look at moving to two services. This would be a huge step that would affect many aspects of our community, including religious education, music, greeting, fellowship, and more. We will be careful and strategic about how to proceed. But if we wish to grow in the ways the congregation has committed itself to, we have to make some changes.

In the meantime, if you can park across the street at the nursery on Sunday mornings, please do. If you’re willing to sit towards the front the sanctuary, that’s great too. Help us leave room for others.

In faith and freedom,

Jonalu

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