Sunday, April 2, 2017

Not ready to become old fogies

Joyce Sasse, Spiritual Gleanings - We act with such caution when it comes to accepting change, I marvel that we aren’t still driving Model-T Fords.  As the world swirls around the Church, it is evident we have to move beyond what was. Many of our practises and activities have failed to keep up with seismic shifts in social outlook and scientific reality. Young people and many of their parents are no longer church focused like their grandparents were.

For church leaders, the poor attendance and tepid involvement in the life of many faith communities is frustrating and challenging. Christopher White wrote about this in his United Church Observer column (March 2017). But he pointed out “there is an emerging generation of church leaders who are refusing to be defined (by this frustration).” They “are simply getting on with creating our emerging church”. They are giving us “models of healthy communities of faith” which all of us can learn from. They understand “it’s time to focus not on what is being lost, but on what is being born”.

In a world where an incredible number of people are spiritually hungry, churches need to remain open to ways the spirit can speak through the inquiries of the sojourner, the challenges of the youth, and the direction being sought by the retiree who still has 25 years of living in which to find meaning.

We need to remind ourselves, also, that the faith-dimension has as much to do with re-visiting the wisdom accumulated and shared from the past, as it does by dazzling us with new technologies speculating about the future. The truths we have gleaned thus far from the great pieces of literature are still but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to daring to look beneath the surface. The Living God isn’t finished with us yet.

“Growth is not an end in itself, but a by-product of health and vibrancy.”

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