Almost 18 months ago, we entered into a covenant of redevelopment. This congregation committed to work together, with your pastor/redeveloper, the redevelopment team and the synod in order to re-engage in God’s mission for us in this part of the world. Looking at this upcoming milestone, I share a reflection from March 2018 before we signed our covenant. How have you seen bits of renewal in our congregation? How have you engaged in your own spiritual renewal?
I invite you to take time to review our covenant and consider your role in it.
“Change is hard.” ...from the Preamble to the Redevelopment Covenant Change is hard. Such a simple statement that we all know is true, so it seems pointless to acknowledge that in our covenant. If change is hard, why would we want to do that? Redevelopment as a congregation is more than just trying to get more people to join Risen Lord or to get members to be more active or to give more money. If redevelopment was simply trying to get more people, we would just implement a new marketing strategy. If redevelopment was about trying to get members to be more active, we would ask members what they wanted and create new and better program. If redevelopment were just about money, we would be looking for new ways to fundraise or business ventures to increase our income. Redevelopment hopes to increase involvement, include new people and inspire giving, but redevelopment is so much more. It is a commitment to spiritual renewal, both individually and congregationally. It is about creating disciples who seek to follow God in all aspect of their lives. It is focusing on God’s vision for our congregation. It is about joining God’s work in our community. It is about changing the world. And this is hard. It will require all of us to change and, as we know, change is hard. So why do it? Why go to the trouble? When I look around at the world, it is too easy to become quickly overwhelmed by all that is wrong. Loneliness. Poverty. Fear. Division. Racism. Drugs. Unemployment. Violence. Habitat destruction. Marginalization. Lack of purpose. Deforestation. Mental illness. Broken relationships. Illiteracy. Self-obsession. I know that this is not what God has intended for our world. When we hear the story of creation, God looks at each new thing and says, “It is good.” Many things in world today are not. In Jesus’ death and resurrection, God has redeemed all people and all things. Jesus is the first sign of the restoration that God longs to bring to the world and we are invited to be part of that. Redevelopment is our opportunity to join God in the restoration of the world. It is the time when we make a commitment, proclaiming that our lives have been transformed by Jesus Christ and declaring our intention to share that Good News with others.
We continue to live into the covenant together, asking how we are called to bear Christ’s good news to the world so that others may be transformed as we have been. In the abiding hope of the Risen Lord, Pastor Lecia