Grace and Peace to you.
Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it.
For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
it speaks of the future, and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.
In a town I’d never been in before someone recommended a local candy shop and said, “You should check this place out. They’re all about fudge. They’re like the Nirvana of Fudge.” Sure enough they had a variety of candy, but they excelled at both quality and variety of fudge.
A vision is a clear, simple, compelling picture of what you’re all about. Like “the Nirvana of Fudge.” What do you think St. Matthew’s is all about? What do you think it has been all about in the past? Every church is a little different. Each congregation has its own specialty, its vision, its special image of who they are and what they’re all about. Some are pretty vague; others are very specific. How about us? What are we all about? What have we been all about? What will be be all about in the years to come?
The world is changing and our lives are changing. For this reason some people want the church to change—and for this same reason some want it to stay the same! But we have to know what it is before we can either change it or keep it the same.
So these days we’re asking: Who are we? Who does God call St. Matthew’s to be? We’re “the Nirvana of…” what? It’s not so much about what we want, but what God is doing among us. What is that? We’re asking in various ways. I’m sitting down with a lot of folks and interviewing them, asking these kinds of questions. If you’d be willing to contribute your thoughts I’d love to hear them!
We’ll also ask on Sunday. After the second service we’ll share in a potluck, then gather to recall the story of St. Matthew’s. Whether you’ve been here a long time or are brand new, this is a great chance to reflect on what St. Matthew’s has been like for you—and a great chance for long-timers and newcomers alike to hear each other. As we get a picture of who we are, we have solid ground on which to step into who we shall become. I hope you’ll be there on Sunday!
We’re also asking in prayer. I’m forming a Listening Group whose purpose is to pray for the church and listen for God’s call for us. There’s no agenda, no planning or strategizing: just praying, listening for God. If this interests you, let me know.
Out of all this asking and listening, I believe we’ll discern a clearer picture of what God wants for St. Matthew’s. Since God is where the energy of the church comes from, our vision will guide and energize us as we step into the future. When that happens—watch out! God’s vision is what makes miracles occur.
I’m excited. The next big step comes on Sunday. Here we go!….