2015 June NEWS
Pastor Brad’s first service will be July 12.
We have been blessed to not only find a house in Oregon, but we have also been blessed to have accepted an offer for our house in Charlotte. Yea! Thus, another major hurdle has been completed!
Now, for those of you who have moved before, you know that whenever you transition from your old home to a new home there is both a sense of excitement, but also a sense of sadness. Your house is a place where so many memories were formed. Your house is a place where your children learned to crawl and where you hosted birthday parties year after year. Your house is a place into which you have invested a lot of time and energy to make it just right to earn the title of “home.”
Furthermore, in this transition our “home” church is also changing. And, there is the same mixture of excitement and sadness. There are special memories and milestones of development. And, certainly, there has been a lot of time and energy also invested to make the place in which we worship worthy of the title “home.”
Our homes are such a big part of our lives. But, I recently read something from St. Augustine (354-430) that has helped me have a deeper perspective on this word “home.”
In his Confessions, St. Augustine described how he had a lot of knowledge about God and he had a lot of great ideas concerning the ministries of the church. But, then he realized that even with all his knowledge, he lost sight of the big picture. The vision in which God was leading him and this world was not just about knowledge and action plans, but for us to be in a living and ever-deepening relationship with our Creator. And, then he said this. He said, “The place where God is leading us is not a mere vision, it is our home” (Confessions, book 7, chapter 20).
Once I arrive at Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church, we are going to be taking some time getting to know each other and exploring God’s vision together. Soon, we will be discussing strategies for discipleship and church growth. There may be some transitions that bring both excitement and sadness. But, I want to encourage us to keep the big picture in mind. We are not just seeking to grow the church for the sake of growing the church. We are not just going to be reading the Bible and maturing in discipleship for the sake of being better Christians. We are not just going to be reaching out to our community and blessing them with the love of Christ as a mere exercise of our faith. There is something much deeper that God is doing which goes beyond the walls of our houses and the walls of our particular congregation. And, we need to keep this in mind through every transition in life. “The place where God is leading us is not a mere vision, it is our home.”
So, my friends, I am looking forward to continuing the journey with you as we all move from one home to another.
Grace and Peace,