To my church family, we have been through so much in the last year. And as the church is opening up that sometimes comes with expectations. Often those expectations are that things will go back to the way we were before our COVID season. Truth be told we can not and will not be going back to the exact way we worshipped and did things in the past. I know there is always a desire to hold on to things the way we love them and like them. It is human nature to do that. Yet, the world is changing. I am pretty sure none of us are the same as we were 30 years ago. Our views on things have changed, how we do things have changed. Often we learn and grow and we change things in our lives because another way is better or easier. We learn from our past mistakes and we make corrections in our lives from things we have learned. The church should be no different. Quite honestly, so many churches are dying because they are failing to change in ways they need to and often they wait until it is too late to finally realize they need to change. I have been committed to leading us in ways that stay true to the Gospel, stay true to what Jesus called the church to do and to be, while at the same time creating a church where we are reaching new people for Jesus. That is part of our call to step out of our comfort zones so others can hear and accept the Good News that Jesus Christ came to give. Those of us who have the faith are called to be willing to sacrifice so that others may join God's family and be rescued and saved.
Last Fall, we held our first BBQ fundraiser since we could not have our famous Turkey and Oyster Dinner. We learned that it was so much easier to do this fundraiser than the Turkey and Oyster Dinner and the return on our investment was much higher! So we are planning on doing them 3 times a year and we are building a kitchen area at the Promised Land pavilion to make our pavilion an easier place to have this meal and other food events in the future.
We have hired a director of Music Ministries and Holly has been doing a great job for the last almost 2 months!! Her style is not exactly the style we have been used to at Tom's Creek. I know it is hard for some of us to adjust but the Old Victorian style of worship does not resonate with a lot of people. Many are looking for the music style that came out of the Great Revivals and the revivals we used to have in this area in the late 1800 and early 1900s. People do not read music like they used and when you get a large group together they don't know how to sing 4 part harmony anymore. We will have a traditional worship where we sing hymns but we will also be having a service with more contemporary music. The truth is we must be willing to change a little to meet people where they are. If they think they have to know how to sing 4 part harmony and singing in very formal style many will not want to join in. So we will still have the hymns of our faith but many times it is going to be in a more free flowing style that allows people to more easily enter in. We will mix it up and of course there will be times where we will have organ music playing and more formal music like on Easter morning. I pray that Tom's Creek will create a worship service that reflects something people are yearning for and that is a traditional worship service with all the traditional aspects like stained glass windows, and altars, and baptismal fonts, and a somewhat formal liturgy AND music that touches people's soul and moves them AND they hear good Bible based preaching that is relevant to their lives, AND a friendly community where they are welcomed in and feel like they are part of something that is bigger than themselves.
So I ask you to be in prayer as we move forward. Pray that we might be able to reach new people and that we welcome them into God's family. Pray that we might be willing to accept some change and that we are willing to step out of our comfort zones so that others might hear of God's grace and accept it. Pray that we as individuals continue to change and grow on our walk with Christ and that we don't stay stagnate in our faith. Pray that as a church we don't grow stagnate and we find ways to change that stays true to God's Word and allows us to still be the church Christ called us to be. Pray for Holly as she leads the process to build back our choir, and create a praise team, and finds ways to help people to use their musical gifts and that the music then touches people's soul and helps them in their walk with Christ. Pray as we enter back into the church and it is not the same as when we had left that we might be willing to embrace the journey ahead.
Tonight there is a church Administrative Council meeting. We talk about the basic business of the church and what we will be doing now and in the future. Feel free to join in on the ZOOM call (details were emailed out previously and in last Sundays bulletin). All who join will have voice but only those on the Council will have voice and vote. And always, always feel free to call me, text me, email, or schedule a time to meet to discuss anything that is happening in the life of the church or your life. The road ahead has more twists and turns but we are on the journey together with Christ by our side.